(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "L'inconnu: The Unknown"

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 



at |http : //books . google . com/ 



4 




FROM THE ESTATE OP 

THOMAS WELTON STANFORD 



r 



^ 




{^r-.yf^/t/j 





'/If^U 





/^La-^t- 



Qlr^tL 







jM^.^.jf^^^'^^ 



"--: 7/^ 




/L 



^ 




^)~^-^r^/t/^ 








/^L a^ t- ^Cd.C ^t LlJ^M ^ 







'^"-''///^ 




L'INCONNU 



THE UNKNOWN 



BY 



CAMILLE FLAMMARION 




NEW YORK AND LONDON 
HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS 

1900 

\ 



2 



S3805 



Copyright, .900.by_CAMlLLB rLAMMARlOH. 
Ml rights rtserved. 



CONTENTS 



PAGB 

Introduction v 

CHAPTER 

I. On Incredulity 1 

II. On Credulity 22 

III. Op Telepathic Communications Made by the Dying, 

AND of Apparitions 43 

IV. Admission of Facts 183 

V. Hallucinations, Properly So Called 207 

VI. The Psychic Action of One Mind Upon Another.— 
Transmission of Thouoht. — ^Mental Suggestion. — 
Communications From a Distance Between Human 

Beings 228 

VII. The World op Dreams.— Infinite Variety op Dreams. 
— Cerebral Physiology.— Psychic Dreams: Mani- 
festations OP THE Dying Experienced During 

Sleep. — ^Telepathy in Dreams 310- 

VIII. Distant Sight in Dreams.— Actual Pacts 377 

IX. Premonitory Dreams and Divination of the Future 423 

Conclusion 477 



INTRODUCTION 



The universal and constant aspirations of all thinking 
hnman beings, the reverence and affectionate remembrance in 
which we hold the memory of onr dead^ the innate idea of a 
Day of Judgment, the feelings inherent in our consciousness, 
and in our intellect, the miserable incoherence between the 
destinies of men on earth compared with the mathematical 
order which regulates the universe, the bewildering impres- 
sion we receive of the infinite and the eternal as we gaze into 
the starry heavens, and beneath all this our certainty of the 
permanent identity of our I (our own individual existence) 
notwithstanding perpetual changes in our bodies and our 
brains — all conspire to create in us a conviction of tlie ex- 
istence of the soul as an individual entity which will survive 
the destruction of our corporeal organism, and which must 
be immortal. 

However this may be, scientific demonstration of all this 
has not as yet been made, and physiologists teach us, on the 
contrary, that thought is a function of the brain ; that with- 
out a brain there is no thought, and that all dies when 
we die. In this there is disagreement between the ideal 
aspirations of human nature and what we call positive 
science. 

On the other side, we do not know, we cannot afl5rm any- 
thing but what we have learned, and we cannot know anything 
until we have learned it. Science alone makes steady prog- 
ress in the present history of mankind. It is science which 
has transformed the world, though we rarely render her the 
justice and the gratitude that are her due. It is through 



INTRODUCTION 

her that we live intellectually, and even materially, at the 
present day. She alone can guide us and enlighten us. 

This work is an attempt to analyze scientifically subjects 
commonly held to have no connection with science, which 
are even accounted uncertain, fabulous, and more or less 
imaginary. 

I am about to demonstrate that such facts exists. I am about 
to attempt to apply the same scientific methods employed in 
other sciences to the observation, verification, and analysis 
of phenomena commonly thrown aside as belonging to the 
land of dreams, the domain of the marvellous, or the super- 
natural, and to establish that they are produced by forces 
still unknown to us, which belong to an invisible and natu- 
ral world, different from the one we know through our own 
senses. 

Is this attempt rational ? Is it logical ? Can it lead to re- 
sults ? I do not know. But I do know that it is interesting. 
And if it helps us to know something of the nature of the 
human soul, and affords us scientific demonstration of its 
survival, it will give humanity a progress superior to any she 
has yet received by the gradual evolution of all the other 
sciences put together. 

Human reason can only admit what has been demonstrated 
to be absolute certainty. But, on the other hand, we have no 
right to reject or deny anything in advance, for the testi- 
mony of our own senses is incomplete and misleading. 

We ought to take up any study with an unprejudiced 
mind ; we ought to be ready to admit what has been proved, 
but not to admit much that may be proved hereafter. In gen- 
eral, in the cases of subjects connected with telepathy, such 
as apparitions, second-sight, mental suggestion, premonitory 
dreams, magnetism, psychical manifestations, hypnotism, spir- 
itualism, and certain religious beliefs, it is marvellous to see 
how small a part enlightened criticism has played in the ac- 
ceptance of facts, and what an incoherent mass of foolishness 
has been accumulated under the name of truth. But is the 
method of scientific observance applicable to such subjects ? 
This is what it is our object to demonstrate by these researches. 

vi 



INTRODUCTION 

We should believe uo thing without proof. There are only 
two scieu title methods in this world. One is the old scholas- 
tic method which affirmed certain truths d priori, to which 
facts were afterward expected to conform ; and that of mod- 
ern science since the time of Bacon, which starts by observ- 
ing facts and does not formulate a theory until it has estab- 
lished them. Needless to say, it is the second of these 
methods that is hero adopted* 

The framework of this book is essentially scientific. 1 
shall pnt aside, in principle, all things that appear to me not 
to have been clearly certified either by experience or obser- 
vation » 

Many people say, '* What is the use of seeking ? You will 
find nothing. Such things are God^s secrets, which He 
keeps to Himself There always have been people who 
liked ignorance better than knowledge. By this kind of 
reasoning (had men acted upon it) nothing would ever have 
been known in this world, and more than once it has been ap- 
plied to astronomical researches. It is the mode of reason- 
'ing adopted by those who do not care to think for themselves, 
and who confide to directors (so-called) the charge of con- 
trolling their consciences. 

Other people may object that these chapters on the occult 
sciences are making our knowledge retrograde into the Mid- 
dle Ages, instead of advancing towards the bright light of 
the futore, foreshadowed by modern progress. Well, then ! 
I say that a carefal study of these facts can no more trans- 
port us back to the days of sorcery, than the study of astron- 
omy can lead iis hack to the times of astrology. 

As I began this ivork, my eyes fell on the preface of a book 
by Count Ag6nor de Gasparin, on Table-turning {Les tables 
toumantes), and there I read what follows : 



*'TIjere is one thing— an Importftot ihing— which ought to be made 
clear from the first, the subject of my work Is not serious. In other 
words, I would say to my readers : It is no object Tvith me to prove thsit 
you are right, or that you are wrong, what I waot is the truth, of which 
you seem to consider yourselves the defenders. We are not concerned 
with truths authorized and breveted, truths that a man can cjoncern him- 

vii 



INTRODUCTION 

self with and yet remain uncompromised, truths tliat can be avowed, 
serious, accepted truths. There are absurd truths — so much the worse for 
them! Their turn wili come, perchance, and tlien people who respect 
themselves may take them under their protection, but meantime, so long 
as certain people frown, so long as good society laughs, it would be in 
bad taste to run counter to public opinion. Don't talk to us of the 
truth I We must consider the proprieties, and bow to comport ourselves ; 
our business is to walk in the same track with serious men^ who march in 
file one after the other." 



These words, written nearly half a century ago, are true 
still. Poor human beings, so ignorant of most things, whose 
time passes for the most part so stupidly here, have in their 
ranks persons who take themselves very seriously, and pass 
judgment upon men and things. There is but one thing to 
be done when one takes up any question, and that is, not to 
concern ourselves with such individuals ; to disregard their 
opinions, whether private or public, and to go straight for- 
ward in our search for truth. Mankind is composed three 
parts of beings incapable of comprehending such research, 
and incapable of thinking for themselves. We may leave* 
them to their superficial judgments, which are valueless in 
themselves. 

I have long been occupied with these questions in such 
hours of leisure as were left me by my astronomical labors. 
My old card of membership in the Society of Paris for the 
Study of Spiritualism, signed by Alan Kardee, fell under my 
eyes as I was writing this a few moments ago. It is dated 
November 15, 1861 (I was then nineteen, and for three years 
I had been a pupil in astronomy at the Paris Observatory). 
For more than a third of a century I have kept in touch with 
most of the phenomena observed throughout the entire world. 
It is probably because of my long personal experience in such 
subjects that I have been so earnestly requested to publish 
this work. 

But I have always hesitated. Had the time really come ? 
Was the way fully prepared ? Was the fruit ripe ? One can 
but begin, of course. Future ages will develop the seed. 

This is a book of studies, conceived and executed with the 

viii 



INTRODUCTION 



sole purpose of knowing the truths withont any prejudice in 
favor of received ideas, with the most complete independence 
of mind and the most absolute indifference as to public 
opinion. 

It must, however, be owned that work of this kind is inter- 
eatings — passionately interesting — to the writer while search- 
ing for truths unacknowledged or unknown, but it is^ from 
the point of view of public opinion, labor withont reward. 
Everybody, or almost everybody^ has a poor opinion of those 
who undertake it. Men of science think it is not a scientific 
subject, and that it is a pity to waste time over it. Other 
persons, who believe blindly in spiritual communicationB, 
dreams, presentiments, and apparitions, think it is useless to 
carry a critical spirit of analysis and examination into an in- 
quiry about such things. We must own, too, that the sub- 
ject is both vague and obscure, and that we shall have much 
difficulty in casting a bright light upon it. But if this work 
succeeds in placing but one little stone in the edifice of hu- 
man knowledge. I shall be glad that I have undertaken it. 

The hardest thing, perhaps,for amau, is to be independent; 
to 8ay what he thinks and what he knows, withont caring 
about the opinion others may have of him. To put in prac- 
tice the noble motto of Jean Jacques Rousseau only makes 
enemies ; for, after all, the human race is rude, savage, igno- 
rant, cowardly, and hypocriticah Beings who live under the 
infinence of their minds and hearts are exceptional. 

Perhaps the most singuhir thing of all is that a free inquiry 
into truth seems disagreeable to every one ; for each brain has 
its little secrets, which it does not wish to have distnrbed. 

If, for example, I say that the immortality of the soal, al- 
ready demonstrated by philosophy, will be speedily proved by 
psychic sciences, more than one sceptic will smOe at my asser- 
tion. 

If, on the other hand, I say that the spiritualist who calls 
up on his table Newton, Archimedes, or St. Aognstine, and 
who imagines himself to have been talking with them, is the 
dope of an illiision, there is a whole sect ready to pick up big 
stones to fling at me. 



INTRODUCTION 

But, again, let us not concern ourselves with such different 
opinions. 

"What can these studies concerning psychical problems 
lead to, after all ?" says some one. 

We answer : "They tend to show that the soul exists and 
that our hopes of immortality are not chimeras.'* 

"Materialism** is an hypothesis which cannot be sustained, 
now that we know more about "matter.** It does not afford 
us the solid point d'appui it was once supposed to do. Bodies 
are composed of millions of millions of mobile atoms, which 
do not even touch one another, and are in perpetual move- 
ment round each other: these infinitely minute atoms are 
now considered centres of force. Where, then, is matter ? 
It disappeared under dynamism. 

An intellectual law controls the universe in which our 
planet holds a humble place. Such is the law of progress. 
I showed in my work Le Monde avant la Creation de V Homme 
that the evolution of Lamarck and Darwin is only a recog- 
nition of facts, and not a cause (the product can never be 
superior to what generates it), and in my work La Fin du 
Monde I also showed that nothing can end, since all that 
had existence in past eternity exists still. 

The law of progress which regulates all life, the physical 
organism of this life itself, the instinctive foresight of plants, 
insects, birds, etc., to assure the propagation of these species, 
and an examination of the principal facts in natural history 
will result, as Oersted has told us, in convincing us that there 
is a spirit in nature. 

The current of our daily life shows us no power of thought 
except in the brains of men and animals. Thence physiologists 
have concluded that thought is a product of the brain. And 
we are told that without brain there is no thought, 

Now nothing authorizes us to think that the sphere of our 
observations is universal — that it comprises all the possibili- 
ties of nature in all other worlds. 

No one has a right to insist that there can be no thought 
without a brain. 

If one or another of the millions of microbes that inhabit 




DUCTION 



each of our bodies was trying bo generalize his impressions, 
could he suspect, as he floated in the Hood of our veins or 
onr arteries, or devoured our muscleSj or made hia way iuto 
our bones, or travelled through all parts of our system from 
head to foot, that this body, like his own, was regulated by au 
organic unity ? 
Such is really our relation to tlie planetary universe. 
The sun — the great heart of his system and source of life — 
shines on the orbits of the planets, aud he himself moves in a 
sidereal system that is vaster stilL We have no right to deny 
that thought can exist iu space, and that it directs the move- 
ments of vast bodies, as we direct those of our arms or legs. 
The instinct which controls living beings, the forces which 
keep up the beating of onr hearts, the circulation of our 
blood, the respiration of our lungs, and the action of our 
stomachs, may they not have parallels in the material universe, 
regulating conditions of existence incomparably more impor* 
tant than those of a human being, since, for example, if the 
sun were to be extinguished, or if the movement of the earth 
were put out of its course, it would not be one human being 
who would die, it would be the whole pop illation of our 
globe, to say nothing of that of other planets. 

There exists in our cosmos a dynamic element, imponder- 
able and invisible, diffused through all parts of the universe, 
independent of matter visible and ponderable, and acting 
upon it ; aud in that dynamic element there is an intelligence 
Buperior to our own,* Yes, undoubtedly we think with our 



* Tlie great chemist Sir Humphry Davy, the first man who expert- 

mentetl with protoxide of azote (In 1799), duriug his first experiments 

breathed too powerful n dose and lost conacioiisneas. During this brief 

, space of appareot annihilation he exporleticed extraordinary cerebral im- 

[presaiaoa, which he remembered on awaking, at least ao far as cooceroed 

[iheir raetapliysical consequences. His ideas, recalled with energy, burst 

rfonh ID this suddea exclamation, which he uttered in the tone of one 

Inspired, ** Nothing exisia but thought. The universe ia composed of 

impressions, ideas, pleasures, and pains !" (Sir H* Davy, Hie Last Days 

of a Philosopher, ) 

In relating one of ber curious experiences. Madame d'Esp6rimce, whose 
faculties as a medium were extraordinary, tells us of a similar impres- 

xi 




INTRODUCTION 

brains, as we see with our eyes, as we hear with our ears ; but 
it is not our brain which thinks, any more than it is our eyes 
which see. What would you say of a person who congratu- 
lated a telescope on seeing the canals of Mars so well ? The 
eye is an organ, and so is the brain. 

Psychical problems are not so strange as astronomical prob- 
lems were formerly considered. If the soul is immortal, and 
if heaven is to be its future country, a knowledge of the soul 
cannot but be in some way associated with a knowledge of 
heaven. Is not infinite space the domain of eternity ? What 
is there surprising in the fact that astronomers have been 
thinkers, searchers in this field, anxious to gain light as to 
the real nature of man, as well as of creation ? Therefore 
let us not account it a fault in Schiaparelli, director of the 
Milan Observatory and the indefatigable observer of the 
planet Mars, or in Zoellner, the director of the Observatory 
at Leipsic and author of some important researches on the 
planets, or in Orookes, who was as much an astronomer as 
he was a physicist, besides some others, to have endeavored 
to find out what was true in these manifestations. Truth is 
one, and all may be found in nature. 

The psychical sciences are greatly behind physical sciences 
as to what is known of them. Astronomy has had its New- 
ton, but biology is comparatively in the time of Copernicus, 
physiology in that of Hipparchus and Ptolemy. All that 
we can do at present is to gather together observations, to 
compare them, and to assist in the debtit of the new science. 

One perceives — one can presage — that the religion of the 
future will be scientific, will be founded on a knowledge of 
psychical facts. This religion of science will have one great 
advantage over all that have gone before it — unity. To- 
day 'a Jew or a Protestant cannot believe in the miracles at 
Lourdes, a Mussulman hates the *^dog of a Christian,*^ a 
Buddhist cannot accept the dogmas of the Western world. 

sion. *• How can I describe the indescribable? Time had disappeared. 
Space was no more. I felt that thoughts were the only really tangible 
things." (E. d'Esp^rance, Au Flays de V Ombre,) 

xii 



INTRODUCTION 

No one of these divisions will exist in a religion founded on 
the general scientific solution of psychical problems. 

But we are as yet far from questions of theory or dogma. 
What before all else is important is to know if the phenome- 
na we have to deal with exist, and avoid loss of time and es- 
cape the folly of looking for the cause of things that have no 
existence ! Let us first make sure of our facts, theories will 
come after. This book will contain primarily observations, 
examples, verifications, and testimony. It will have as few 
"phrases" as possible. What we want to do is to collect 
such proofs as may lead to certainty hereafter. We will try 
to give a methodical classification to our phenomena by group- 
ing together those that are most alike, and afterwards trying 
to explain them. This book is not a romance, but a collec- 
tion of documents, the thesis of a scientific study. I have 
tried to follow the maxim of the astronomer Laplace. ** We 
are as yet far from knowing all the agencies of nature," he 
wrote (apropos, by the way, of animal magnetism), **but it 
would be unphilosophical to reject phenomena merely be- 
cause they are inexplicable in the present state of our knowl- 
edge. Only we must examine them with the most scrupulous 
attention, and determine up to what point we should multiply 
observations or experiments in order to obtain a probability 
superior to the reasons that may be brought forward for not 
admitting them." 

Such is our programme. Those who arc willing to follow 
us will see that if this work has but one merit it is sincerity. 
We seek to know whether we can arrive at the affirmation 
that the mysterious phenomena which seem to have been 
known in the world from its very highest antiquity really 
exist, and our sole object is to discover the truth. 

Pabis, December, 1899. 



THE UNKNOWN 



CHAPTER I 



OK IKOEEDULITT 



" Ofoire tout dScaunert est une erreur pr&fonde, 
(Pest preMre Vhori&>n pour U» bornes du moiide" 

— Lamabtinb. 



Many men are the victiins of iotellectnal short-sighted- 
ness ; and many, as Lamierre has Justly liold usj take their 
own horizon to be the boundary of the whole world* New 
facts or new ideas bewilder and horrify them. They wish to 
see no changes in the steady march of events to which they 
are accustomed. The history of the progress of human 
knowledge is a dead-letter to them. The boldness of inves- 
tigators, of inveutora, of all who try to effect any kind of 
revolution, seems crimioa! to them. In their eyes the human 
race has been always what it is at the present moment. They 
overlook the Stone Age, the discovery of fire, the first con- 
struction of houses, the building of carts, carriages, and rail- 
roads — iFi short, all the difficulties that the intelligence of 
man has overcome, and all the discoveries of science. They 
apparently retain some traces of their descent from fishes — 
nay, even from a mollusca* Comfortably seated in their 
easy-chairs, these excellent people remain imporfcnrbably well 
satisfied. They are absolotely incapable of admitting the 
troth of anything they do not understand, and never suspect 
that they really understand nothing at all. They do not 
know that behind any explanation we may give of the phe- 
A 1 



THE-.UNKNOWN 

nomena of nature tberer lies the great unknown. They are 
satisfied with old:.fQpmulas, by a mere change of words. 
'^ Why does a stoXe'iall ?'' ** Because it is attracted by the 
earth. '* Su(^h.,an- answer satisfies them. They think they 
understand}./ •Long -accepted phraseology imposes on them 
as it does';9pon the simpleton in the play of Moli^re : " ossa- 
bandus, 'nequeis, nequor, potarinum quipsa milus" (this 
.(aigl^ins exactly why your daughter is dumb), says Sgnana- 
jffiie in the comedy. 

• In all ages, in all degrees of civilization, many men of this 
sort have been found — stupid and tranquil, yet not wholly 
devoid of vanity; men who frankly deny belief in everything 
not clearly explained or explored, and yet fancy they know 
all about the unfathomable organization of the universe. 
They are like two ants in a garden attempting to converse 
about the history of France, or the distance of the earth from 
the sun. 

Let us go back to history and cite a few examples. 

The school of Pythagoras, having discarded the common 
ideas of the age concerning nature, rose to a belief in the 
diurnal movement of our planet, which relieved the bound- 
less heavens from the absurd necessity of turning every 
twenty-four hours round our earth, a little insignificant spot 
in the infinity of space. Of course, public opinion was at 
once in revolt against any new idea conceived by genius. 
Who can expect an elephant to soar upward to an eaglets 
nest ? But the power of vulgar prejudice is so great that 
even superior minds found it impossible to rise to the height 
of this conception. Not even Plato and Archimedes, two 
men of brilliant intellect — not even astronomers like Hip- 
parchus and Ptolemy. Indeed, the latter could not help 
laughing heartily at such a palpable absurdity. He asserted 
that the theory of the movement of the earth was simply 
ridiculous aiaw yeXoiorarov. The expression is decidedly 
picturesque. We may see by this how the paunch of some 
good canon might have quivered, or still quivers, over a joke 
of the same kind, panu guSlcHotaton. " Good Heaven V^ a 
sceptic would have said, " how funny ! Think of the earth 

2 



ON INCREDULITY 



turning round, how absurd I The Pytliagorians have gone 
mad, their heads are upside down !" 

Socrates drank hemlock with the hope of being set free 
from the superstitions of his time. Anaxagoras was perse- 
cuted for having dared to teach that the sun was larger than 
tlie Peloponnesus. Two thousand years later Galileo was 
persecuted for having affirmed the vastness of the solar sys- 
tem and the comparative insignificance of our planet. The 
search after truth docs not go forward with leaps and bounds, 
while human passions and the dominant interests of this life, 
which blind men to great facts, remain the same. 

A similar doubt still exists, notwithstiuiding the accumula- 
tion of proofs brought forward by modern astronomy. Have 
we not in our libraries a book published in 1806 for the ex- 
press purpose of maintaining that the earth does not move 
round the sun ? la it the author declares that he will never 
admit that our planet revolves like a fowl upon the spit* 
This good gentleman was nevertheless a man of considerable 
intelligence (which does not mean that he was not ignorant). 
He was a member of the Institute in that day. His name 
was Mercier. He is best known by his Tableau de Paris, and 
from that book we might have credited him with better judg- 
ment. 

I was present one day at a meeting of the Academy of 
Sciences. It was a day to be remembered, for its proceedings 
were absurd. Du Moncel introduced Edison's phonograph 
to the learned assembly. When the presentation had been 
made, the proper person began quietly to recite the usual 
formula as he registered it upon his roll. Then a middle- 
aged academician, whose mind was stored — ^uay, saturated — 
with traditions drawn from his culture in the classics, rose, 
and, nobly indignant at the audacity of the inventor, rushed 
towards the man who represented Edison, and seized him by 
the collar, crying : '* Wretcli ! we are not to be made dupes 
of by a ventriloquist !** This member of the Institute was 
Monsieur Bouillaud. The day was the 11th of March, 1878. 
The most curious thing about it was that six months later, 
on September 30th, before a similar assembly, the same man 

8 



THE UNKNOWN 

eonsidered himself bonnd in honor to declare that after a 
close examination he could find nothing in the invention but 
ventriloquism, and **that it was impossible to admit that 
mere vile metal could perform the work of human phonation/' 
The phonograph, according to his idea of it, was nothing but 
an acoustic illusion. 

When Lavoisier analyzed the air and discovered that it was 
composed principally of two gases, oxygen and azote, his 
discovery discomposed more than one accepted opinion. A 
member of the Academy of Sciences, Baum6 the chemist 
;(who invented the areometer), firmly believing in the four 
(Gilements of ancient science, learnedly wrote thus : '* The 
edements or principles of bodies have long been recognized, 
and the existence of these elemeats is confirmed by physi- 
<0iaaa8 in sl\ countries and in all ages. It is not to be im- 
ftgi'fiked that these elements, regarded as such for two thousand 
y^ars, ar^ now to be placed among the number of compound 
substances, or that the results by experiments to decompose 
;air snd water can be looked upon as certain truth, or that 
reasoning on the subject, to say the least, can be anything 
but absarb. The recognized properties in the elements are 
related to all the physical and chemical knowledge we have 
yet obtained; thus far they have served as our basis for an 
infinite number of discoveries and support brilliant theories. 
Are we now expected to surrender our belief in fire, water, 
earth and air ? Are these no longer to be recognized as 
elements — ^that is, primary substances T' 

Everybody now knows that these four "elements,*' so 
conscientiously and vehemently defended, do not exist, and 
that modern chemists were right to decompose water and air- 
As to fire or phlogiston, which according to Baum6 and his 
contemporaries was the deus ex machina of nature and of 
life, it has only existed as an element in the imagination of 
professors. 

Even Lavoisier, great chemist as he was, was not too great 
to be one of those who ventured to maintain that nothing 
more remains to be discovered ; for he wrote a learned report 
to the Academy, setting forth that stones could not fall from 

4 



ON INCREDULITY 



the skies — it was contrary to common-sense to think so. 
Take another instance^ Giisfieudi was a man of independeot 
mind, and one of the most learned savants of the seventeenth 
century. An aerolite weighing thirty kilogrammes fell in 
Provence, in 1627, oat of a clear sky. Gassendi saw it, 
touched it, examined it — and attributed it to an ernption of 
the earth in some unknown region* 

The spectre of the Brocken, the faia Morgana, and the 
mirage, were once denied to exist by many sensible people, 
because they could not be explained. 

It is not long since (1890) that doubts were thrown on 
thunder-bolts, in a full meeting of the Academy of Sciences 
at Paris, by the very members of the Institute who ought 
to have known most upon the subject. 

The history of the progress of science is continually teach- 
ing us that great and far-reaching results may take place from 
the most simple investigations and from unscientific observa- 
tions. In the domain of scientific investigation nothing 
ought ever to be neglected. What a marvellous transforma- 
tion in our modern life has been produced by electricity ! — by 
its use in the telegraph, the telephone, in electric light, in 
safe and rapid locomotion, etc., etc. Without electricity 
nations, cities, and our daily life would be different from what 
we know them. Without electricity travelling by steam 
could not have attained its present perfection, for stations 
conld not have communicated instantaneously with one an- 
other ; trains could not have been run with safety. Few 
know that the cradle of this useful fairy was in the first rays 
of morning light, where may be dimly seen those elements 
that keen eyes have had the glory to observe and to point out 
to the attention of the world. 

This reminds os of the frog soup of Madame Gal van t in 
1791. Galvaui had married the pretty daughter of his old 
master, Lncia Galeozgi, and he loved her dearly. She was ill 
at Bologna, dying of consumption. The doctor ordered her 
frog broth, a very excellent dish, by-the-way. Galvani in- 
sisted upon cooking it himself. 

He tells us that, sitting on his balcony, he had cut up a 



THE UNKNOWN 

certain number of frogs, and hung their legs, which he had 
separated from their bodies, on an iron balustrade before him, 
by means of little copper hooks which he used in his experi- 
ments. Suddenly he saw with astonishment (for what oc- 
curred appeared to him phenomenal) the frogs' legs shaking 
convulsively every time they chanced to touch the iron of 
the balcony. Galvani, who was then professor of physics in 
the University of Bologna, studied this problem with rare 
sagacity, and soon discovered how he could produce the 
same results at will. If we take the legs of a frog which has 
been skinned, we shall see the lumbar nerves looking like 
white threads. They are very numerous in these little creat- 
ures. If we pick up these nerves, wrap them in a sheet of 
tin, and then place the upper part of the legs in a state of 
flexion on a piece of copper, and touch the copper with the 
edge of the tin, the muscles will contract, and any slight 
object placed in contact with the frog's toes will be pushed 
against with considerable force. This is the experiment to 
which Galvani was led by chance, and was thence brought to 
the discovery which bears his name — galvanism. It after- 
wards gave birth to the pile of Volta, to galvanoplasticism, 
and to many other applications of electricity. 

The observation made by the physician of Bologna was re- 
ceived with laughter by the public, but there were a few wise 
men who gave it the attention it deserved. The poor dis- 
coverer was for a time made very unhappy. " I am attacked," 
he wrote in 1792, "by two opposite parties — ^the learned and 
the ignorant. Both laugh at me, and call me the frog's daun 
cing-master. But yet I know that I have discovered one of 
the forces of nature." 

About the same time animal magnetism was utterly con- 
demned in Paris by the Academy of Sciences and by the Fac- 
ulty of Medicine. Men waited before they would believe in it 
(and even after !), to see the result of an operation by Jules Olo- 
quet, for cancer in a woman's breast, which was to be perform- 
ed, without pain, after she had been previously magnetized. » 

' See farther on, p. 410, a full account of this surgical operation. It 
took place April 12, 1829. 

6 



ON INCREDULITY 



I knew in Turin, abont 1S75, a very indigent descendant 
of the Marquis de Jouffroy, who, like myself, was a native of 
the Hacte*Marne, The marquis invented steamboats in 
1776. It ia known that he spent all his own, and much of 
his friends' money, in attempts to demonstrate the possi- 
bility of applying steam to the service of nayigation. His 
first boat was launched on the Doubs, at Baome-les-Dames, 
in 1776. Another^ at Lyons, sailed up the Saone as far as 
the He Barbe in 1785. Jouffroy wanted to get np a com- 
pany to carry out his scheme^ but for this he required an offi- 
cial permit — ^a '^privilege," The Government submitted the 
question of granting it to the Academy of Sciences, which, 
under the influence of Perier (who made the first fire-engine 
at Chaillot), gave an unfavorable opinion. Besides this, 
everybody overwhelmed the poor marquis with jokes about 
his attempt to '^combine the services of fire and water," and 
he received the nickname of Jouffroy4e-Pompe. The hap- 
less inventor at length became discouraged. He emigrated 
during the Ee volution, but returned to France during the 
Consulate, when he discovered that Folton had had no bet- 
ter success with the First Consul than he had had with the 
old monarchy. Subsequently Fulton failed to convince the 
English Government, in 1804, and it was not until 1807 that 
his first steamboat was launched successfully upon the Hud- 
son, in his own country, where at length tardy justice was 
done to him. 

Such is the experience of almost all inventors. Another 
one (also a native of the Haute-Marne), Philippe Lebon, dis- 
covered how to use gas for lighting pnrpoges^ in 1797* He 
died in 1804, on the day of the Emperor's coronation (mur- 
dered, it was thought, in the Champs -Elysfies), without 
having seen his idea adopted by Iiis country. The prin- 
cipal objection raised to it was th it a lamp without a wick 
could not possibly burn. Gas was first nsed in England for 
street lighting in Birmingham, in 1805. It was adopted in 
London in 1813, and in 1818 it was introduced iu Paris. 

Wlien railroads were first constructed, engineers predicted 
that they could never become practicable ; and that tlie 



THE UNKNOWN 

wheels of the locomotives would simply whirl round and 
round without moving forward. In the Chamber of Deputies, 
in 1838, Arago, hoping to throw cold water on the ardor of the 
partisans of the new invention, spoke of the inertia of matter, 
of the tenacity of metals, and of the resistance of the air. 
** The speed of steam-engines," he said, *^ may be great — very 
great, but it will not equal what has been predicted. Let us 
not put faith in mere words. They tell us it will bring an in- 
crease of travel. In 1836 the whole amount of money paid for 
travelling and transportation in France was 2,805,000 francs. 
If all the projected lines are built, if all transit were by means 
of railroads and locomotives, this 2,805,000 francs would be 
reduced to 1,052,000. This would mean a diminution of 
1,751,000 francs per annum. The country would thus lose 
about two-thirds of the money now paid for transportation by 
carriages. Let us mistrust imagination. Imagination is the 
misleading fairy of our homes. Two parallel lines of iron 
will not give a new face to the Landes of Gascony.'' And all 
the rest of his speech was in this vein — by which we may see 
that when new ideas have to be presented to the public the 
greatest minds may fall into error. 

M. Thiers said also, "I admit that railroads would furnish 
some advantages for the transportation of travellers, provided 
their use was limited to a few short lines, with their termi- 
nals in great cities like Paris. But long lines are not 
wanted." 

Hear also Proudhon : " It is a vulgar and ridiculous notion 
to assert that railroads will increase the circulation of ideas." 

In Bavaria the Royal College of Doctors, having been con- 
sulted, declared that railroads, if they were constructed, 
would cause the greatest deterioration in the health of the 
public, because such rapid movement would cause brain 
trouble among travellers, and vertigo among those who 
looked at moving trains. For this last reason it was recom- 
mended that all tracks should be enclosed by high board 
fences raised above the height of the cars and engines. 

When a proposition was first made to lay a submarine cable 
between Europe and America, in 1855, one of our greatest 

8 



OH IKCREDULITY^ 



aathorities in physics, Babinet — a member of the Institute, 
and an examiner in the Folythioniqoe ficole Polytechniqiie — 
wrote thus in the Remie des Deux Moiides ' " I cannot regard 
this project aa serious ; the theory of currents might easily 
afford irrefutable proof that such a thing is an impossibility, 
to say nothing of new currents that would be created all along 
the electric line, and which are Tery appreciable even in the 
short cable crossing from Calais to Dover, I repeat here what 
I have said several times already — that the only way of con- 
necting the Old World with the I^ew is to cross Behring's 
Strait by some submarine track, unless, indeed, a way sliould 
be found throngh the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and 
Labrador,"!! 

The great geologist, Elie de Beaumont, permanent secre- 
tary to the Academy of Sciences in Paris^ who died in 1874, 
never ceased, so long as he lived, to deny that there ever was. or 
ever could be, any fossil man, without having anythiug like 
certainty to support him in this opinion. My enterprising 
friend ^fimile Riviere discovered a fossil man in 1872, in a 
grotto near Mentone, and had him brought to the Museum in 
Paris, where any one may look at him ; but few people even 
now, seem willing to admit that there ever was found such a 
fossil, and M. Riviere, up to the present date (1899), has not 
even been decorated ! (God knows how many nobodies have 
in the meantime received the Cross of Honor.) 

In England, in 1841, the Eoyal Society refused insertion 
to a most important paper by the celebrated Joule, who orig- 
inated the thermodynameter with Mayer; and Thomas Young, 
who with Fresnel established the undulation theory con- 
cerning light, was exposed to the pleasantries of Lord 
Brougham. 

In Germany things took a sadder turn. Mayer, seeing the 
contumelious scepticism with which his immortal discovery 
was received by learned men in official stations, grew doubt- 
fol of himself and flung himself out of a window. Bat shortly 
after that all the academies opened their arms to him. Ohm, 
too, the great electrician, was treated as a madman by hia 
German countrymen. 

9 



THE UNKNOWN 

Nor can we fail to remember what happened after the in- 
vention of glasses that would bring distant objects within 
our range of vision. The Dutch senators refused the in- 
ventor a patent^ because his glasses ^^ were only adapted to be 
used by one eye/' and half a century later Hevelius, the emi- 
nent astronomer, refused to use such glasses in his instru- 
ments, when making his catalogue of stars, because he imag- 
ined that they might alter in some way the exact position of 
the heavenly bodies. 

These examples might be multiplied to the world's end. 
Such as I have given are, however, sufficient to throw light 
on one aspect of the human mind, which should not be ovlBr- 
looked by those who seek for truth. 

A friend, endeared to me by thirty years of affectionate 
intercourse and sweet intellectual companionship — Eugdne 
Nus — dedicated one of his works, Choses de Vautre monde, 
after this fashion : 

**To the memory of all savants, 

Breveted, patented, 

Crowned with palms, decorated, and buried. 

Who have been opposed to the rotation of the earth. 

To meteorites. 

To galvanism, 

To the circulation of the blood, 

To vaccination. 

To waves of light, 

To lightning-rods, 

To daguerreotypes, 

To steam power, 

To propellers, 

To steamboats, 

To railroads, 

To lighting by gas. 

To magnetism, 

And all the rest. 

And to all those now living, or who shall yet be born. 

Who do the same in this present day. 

Or shall do the same hereafter." 

It would seem to me irreverent to copy him, and I should 
be unwilling to write the same dedication at the beginning of 

10 



ox INCREDULITY 



tliia volume. But I have it Iq my mind, and have allowed it 
here to be reprinted, because I think it has a certain philo- 
sophic value in thia connection. And I will add, with Albert 
de Eoehas, that these petrified savants may yet not be without 
their uses. **' If we set them up as landmarks, they will show 
us snccessive stages in the march of human progreas/"* 

Aagnste Comte and Lifctre have apparently striven to 
trace out for science its definite, its *' positive ^^ way. They 
tell us we are only to admit what we can see, or can touch, 
or what we have heard ; we are to receive nothing except on 
the clear evidence of our own senses, and are not to endeavor 
to know what is unknowable. For half a century these have 
been the rules which have regulated science in the world. 

But see now. In analyzing the testimony of our senses 
we find that they can deceive ns absolutely. We see the sun, 
the moan, and the stars revolving, as it seems to us, round 
ns. That is all false. We feel that the earth is motionless. 
That is false too. We see the sun rise above the horizon. 
It is beneath us. We touch what we think is a solid body. 
There is no such thing. We hear harmonious sounds ; bat 
the air has only brought us silently undulations that are 
silent themselves. We admire the effects of light, and of the 
colors that bring vividly before onr eyes the splendid scenes 
of nature; but in fact there is no light, there are no colors. 
It is the movement of opaque etlier striking on our optic 
nerve which gives ns the impression of light and color. We 
bum our foot in the fire ; it is not the foot that pains ns, it 
is in our brain only that the feeling of being burned resides. 
We speak of heat and cold ; there is neither heat nor cold in 
the nniverse, only motion. Thus our senses mislead us as to 
the reality of objects round us. Sensation and reality are 
two different things. 

Nor is this all. Furthermore, our five poor senses are in- 
sufficient. They only enable us to feel a very small number 
of the movements which make up the life of the universe. 
To give an Idea of this here, I will repeat what I wrote in 
Lufnen, a third of a century ago, *^ Between the last aconstio 
sensation perceived by our ears, and due to 36,850 vibrations 

11 



THE UNKNOWN 

per second, to the first optical sensation perceived by our 
eye, which is due to 400,000,000,000,000 vibrations in the 
same space of time, we perceive nothing. There is an enor- 
mous interval with which no one of our senses brings us into 
relation. If we had other cords to our lyre, ten, one hun- 
dred, or a thousand, the harmony of nature would be trans- 
mitted to us more complete than it is now, by making these 
chords all feel the influence of vibrations/' On one hand 
our senses deceive us, on the other their testimony is very 
incomplete. Thus we have no cause to be vainglorious, 
or to set up our so-called positive philosophy as a prin- 
ciple. 

No doubt we should make use of everything we have. 
Religious faith says to our reason : " My little dear, you 
have only a lantern to walk by ; blow it out, and let me lead 
you by the hand." But this is not our modern idea. We 
have a lantern, a pretty poor one, it is true, but to extin- 
guish it would be to leave ourselves in darkness. Let us 
recognize in princple, on the contrary, that reason, or (if you 
choose to put it so) reasons, ought in everything to be our 
guide. Beyond that we have nothing. But do not let us 
draw too circumscribed a circle around science. I come 
back to Auguste Comte, because he is the founder of the 
modern school, and had one of the greatest minds in our 
century. Hq limits the sphere of astronomy to what was 
known of it in his day. That is simply an absurdity.- " We 
can conceive,** he says, ^^ the possibility of studying the forms 
of planets, their distances, their movements, but we can 
never find out what is their chemical composition." This 
celebrated philosopher died in 1857. Five years later spec- 
tral analysis made us acquainted with that very chemical 
composition of the planets, and classed the stars in the 
order of their chemical nature. 

This is just like what was done by astronomers in the 
seventeenth century, who said it was impossible that there 
could exist more than seven planets. 

The unknown of yesterday may be recognized to-morrow 
as truth. 

12 



ON INGBEDULITY 

It would be a mistake, however, should we think that 
mvants (certain savants, I mean) and men of prominence are 
alone responsihle for such acts of stupidity. It is the same 
with men in general ; the majority of the puhlic is the same. 
The human brain is made in every case of much the same 
material, whether it be that of a savant, a writer, an artist, 
a magistrate, a politician, a manufacturer, an artisan, a work- 
man, or a sluggard. The reproach we cast at men whose 
minds were shut against all new inventions (men like Napo- 
leon, for example, who, when his knowledge of 6team*power 
might have ruined England, his great enemy, could not be 
made to understand Its uses) might be hurled as appropri- 
ately at the rest of the world. A man may, indeed, have 
very superior faculties in one direction, and be very deficient 
in all others. The melancholy examples I have cited are not 
an indictment drawn up against savantH in particular, still 
leas against science. Only one would wish not to see en- 
lightened minds fall into the inert ignorance of the vulgar, 
and it is because we hold them in high esteem that we are 
most alive to their weaknesses. 

It is but just, too, to remember that an excuse can be of- 
fered for obstructions, checks, and oppositions of this kind. 
One is seldom sure at first of the reality or the value of a new 
thing. The first steamboats sailed badly, and were hardly so 
good as sailing-vessels. Onr earth did indeed appear im- 
movable. Air and water seemed to be elements. It did not 
appear natural that stones should come down out of the sky. 
The first manifestations of the power ol electricity seemed 
hard to understand. Railroads appeared likely to throw, 
everything into confusion.' 



* When I was six years old I watched the constractjon of a line of 
railroad to run from Paris to Lyons and the Medi terra uean. The sectioD 
I then saw waa from Tonnerre to DijoD, aod wlien I was twelve I 
WEtched that from Paria to Mulbouae. in tlie section from Chaumoot to 
Chaliadrey, aud I remember as if it were yeslerday tbe talk wbicb went 
on arouud me. No one liad any coDception of the development of rail- 
road lines in les3 than balf a century, and men, ioatead of wishing to 
have stations wiiliiQ easy reacb of their homea, were inclmed to tiave 

IS 



THE UNKNOWN 

When genias leads the way, and a new discovery is made, it 
is bat natural that people in general should find themselves 
left behind ; they cannot understand the ways of progress. 

Besides, new facts, little known and unexplained, are often 
vague, confused, difficult to analyze, badly stated by those 
who undertake to bring them forward. What difficulties 
had not animal magnetism, under other names, to surmount 
before it arrived at the state of scientific investigation and 
experiment in which it is to-day ! And how often has it not 
been turned to vile and idle uses by charlatans who have 
worked upon the credulity of the public ? And in magnetic 
phenomena, and in those of spiritualism, how much fraud, 
how much deception we can find — what infamous false- 
hoods, without counting those of stupid people who play 
tricks **for amusement"! Think, too, of the marvellous 
sleight of hand which is at the command of jugglers ! One 
is tempted to excuse in part the cautious reserve of scien- 
tific men. 

The late discovery of the Rontgen rays, so inconceivable 
and so strange in its origin, ought to convince us how very 
small is the field of our usual observations. To see through 
opaque substances ! to look inside a closed box ! to see the 
bones of an arm, a leg, a body, through flesh and clothing ! 
Such a discovery is, to say the least, quite contrary to every- 
thing we have been used to consider certainty. This is in- 
deed a most eloquent example in favor of the axiom : it is 
unscientific to assert that realities are stopped by the limit 
of our knowledge and observation. 

And the telephone, which transmits words, not by sono- 
rous waves, but by electric force ! If we speak through a 
tube from Paris to Marseilles, our voice takes three minutes 
and a half to reach its destination. It would take the same 
time fbr an answer to come back, so that the reply when 
announced by the operator's usual " Hello I" would reach 

them as much at a distance as possible, at least as far off as LaDgres, 
where I began my studies — and in my own village, Montigy-le-Roi. 
At both these places the stations now stand Isolated, and are as far as 
they possibly can be from the business centres of the department. 

U 



ON INCREDULITY 

us in seven minntes. We do not consider that the telephone 
once seemed as absurd to ns as the X-rays mast have seemed 
to scientists when we knew no more than we did before these 
discoveries. 

We are told of five doors to hnman knowledge — sight, 
hearing, smell, touch, and taste. These five doors open for 
us but a little way to any knowledge of the world around 
us, especially the last three — smell, taste, and touch. The 
eye and ear can do a good deal, but it is light alone that 
really puts us in communication with the universe. Now 
what is light ? It is caused by a kind of excessively rapid 
vibration of the air. A sensation of light is produced on 
our retina by vibrations which extend from 400 trillions a 
second (the red extremity of the luminous spectum) to 756 
trillions. They have long ago been measured with preci- 
sion. And below and above these numbers are vibrations 
of ether not perceptible to our vision. Beyond the red line 
are dark caloric vibrations. Beyond the violet line are chem- 
ical vibrations, actinitic, and capable of being photographed, 
but all obscure. There are others still unknown to us. 

To these remarks I would like to add something that would 
both modify them and develop them. It is a comparison 
made recently by Sir William Orookes, of the probable corre- 
spondence between these phenomena of the universe, and the 
vacancies that our terrestrial organization seems to suffer 
from this continuity. Take a pendulum beating each second 
in the air. If we double its beats we obtain the following 
series of vibrations : 

1 degree 3 

2 " 4 

3 •• 8 

4 ** 16 

6 •* 32 

6 *• 64 

7 *• 128 

8 " 256 ^Sound. 

9 •* 512 

10 •• 1,024 

15 " 32,768 

15 



THE UNKNOWN 

20degreeB 1,047,576 ) „ , 

25 " 83.554.433 f^°^^^^^- 

30 •• 1,073,741.824 Electricity. 

86 " 84,859,788.368) 

40 " 1,099.511,627,776 >• Unknown. 

45 '• 85,184,372,088,882) 

48 •* 281,474,976.716,656) 

49 '* 562,949,958,421,812 V Light." 

50 *' 1,125.890,906.842,624 ) 

55 '* 86,028,797,018,963,268 ) 

56 ** 72,057,594,087.927,936 l Unknown. 

57 '* 144,115,188,075,855,872 ) 

58 '* 288,230.376,151,711.744 j 

59 *• 576,460,752.808.428,488 I 

60 ** 1,152,921.504.606,846.976 r^'^^y^- 

61 * * 5,305,843.009,218.693.952 

62 " 4.611,686.018,427.389,904 ) 

63 " 9,223.372,636,854.775,808 J Unknown. 

At the fifth degree, after the beginning to 62 vibrations in 
a second, we enter the region where the vibration of the 
atmosphere is revealed to us under the name of sound. We 
there find the lowest musical note. If among musical notes 
the most solemn is chosen — for instance, the lowest octave of 
the organ — it will be perceived that elementary sensations, 
though forming a continuous whole, which is essential that 
the sound may remain musical, are nevertheless distinct to a 
certain degree. " The lower the note is," says Helmholtz, 
" the better does the ear distinguish in it the successive pul- 
sations of the air." 

In the six following degrees the vibrations in each second 
increase from 32 to 62,768 ; each doubling reproduces the 
same note in a higher octave. The normal diapason, which 
gives us the note la (or F), is a vibration of 455 a second, and 
has 870 vibrations when doubled. The sharpest sound has 
about 66,000 vibrations, and the region of sound ends there, 
so far as the human ear is concerned. But probably some 
animals, better gifted than ourselves, may hear sounds too 

1 Luminous rays, caloric and cbemical, spectra of the infra-red to the 
ultra-violet 

16 



ON INCREDULITY 



acute for oar organs — that is, sounds the rapidity of whose 
vibrations overpass our limits. 

We reach at length a region where the swiftness of vibra- 
tions increases rapidly, and the vibratiug medium is not our 
own gross atmosphere, bnt some thing infinitely more subtle, 
^*an air divine/* called ether. Then there are vibrations of a 
kind unknown to us. Beyond this we penetrate into spheres 
where the rays are electrical.' 

Next comes the region which extends from the 35tb to the 
45th degree, making from 34,000,000,000 and 359,000,000 to 
35,000,000,000,000,000,000 and 1,840,000,000 (or milliards) 
vibrations a second. It is all onknown to us. We are 
ignorant conceniing the functions of these vibrations, but it 
would be difficult to deny that they exist and that they do 
their work somewhere in the universe. 

And now we approach the region of light, this is represented 
by the figures between the 48th and 50th order. The sensa- 
tion of light — in other words, the vibrations which transmit to 
us visible signs — is comprised within the narrow space between 
about 400 trillions (red light) and 756 trillions (violet light), 
which is less than a degree. 

The phenomena of nature which are going on constantly 
around ns, are accomplished by the action of forces to ns 
invisible. Watery vapor, whose work has so great an influence 
on climatology, is invisible; so is heat, so is electricity. 
Chemical rays are invisible. The solar spectrum, which repre- 
sents the luminous rays visible to the human eye, is now 
known to every one. If a ray of sunlight is caused to pass 

* The bursting of a Ley den jar across a spool of very long floe thread 
caused electromagnetic vibrations, whose lengtli, noted down by Helm- 
holtz {1869) and after him by otiier observers, may be comprised between 
1000 and 10,000 a second for the usual apparatus. In 1888 Hertz suc- 
ceeded in reproducing vibrations of the same kind, 100.000 a second, and 
in studying their propagation. These vibrations propagate themselves 
in space — in other words, in the ether which distin^isliea them from the 
vibrations that produce sound, which are propagated in the ordinary way. 
air, water, wood, etc., etc. It is reasonable to consider them analogous 
10 vibration of radiant heat, according to the views put forth by Maxurle 
since 1807. See Sir W. Thomson Conferences, p, 189. 

17 



THE UNKNOWN 

through a prism we obtain when it issues from the prism a 
band of color ranging from red to violet. A great num- 
ber of rays extends across this band^ the principal rays being 
marked from A to H., these are lines of absorption produced by 
substances that are being consumed in the sun's atmosphere^ 
and by the watery vapor in the atmosphere of the earth. 
Thousands of millions of these are known at the present day. 

If we move a thermometer to the left of the visible spectrum 
we see it rise beyond the red line, and this proves to us that 
there are caloric rays to us invisible. 

If we place a photographic plate to the right of the spectrum, 
beyond the violet line, we shall see it take an impression, and 
the presence of very active chemical rays, to us invisible, are 
thereby denoted. Here comes in an important remark : in- 
visible bodies may become visible; thus uranium and sulphate 
of quinine become visible in the dark, if under radiations of 
very ultra violet rays. 

These rays are now classed by the length of their waves — 
that is, by the space traversed by the wave during the length 
of a period of vibration. Although the wave lengths of the 
radiations are infinite, it has been possible by help of lines 
of diffraction grating to measure them with great precision. 

The unit employed is the ten-millionth part of a milli- 
meter. 

VISIBLE SOLAB SPECTRUM 

p^i-. Length of the Vibrations by Trillions 

^^^^^' Wave. in a Second. 

Bright red 734 460 

Limit of red and orange — 647 490 

Limit of orange and yellow . 587 558 

Limit of yellow and green . 585 590 

Limit of green and blue — 492 596 

Limit of blue and indigo. . . 456 675 

Limit of indigo and violet. 424 760 

Bright violet 897 756 

The part below the invisible red is caloric. Length of the 
wave from 1940 to 734. 

Part in the ultra-violet is invi8ible--chemical. Length of 
the wave from 397 to 295. 

18 ., ,. .. 



ON INCREDULITY 

The first of these two invisible spectrums has been deter- 
mined with great precision by the American astronomer 
Langley, by the aid of an instrument of his own inventiou, 
called the bolometer.* In this region, invisible to ua, a large 
part of the snn's energy is expoTided. The part of this spec- 
trnm already explored ia sixteen times more extensive than 
the visible spectrum* 

Besides this* the French physician, Edmond Becquerel, 
photographed long ago the cheniical spectrum/ This spec- 
trnm, which has been the object of much study ever since, 
is about twice as extensive as the visible spectrum. 

Leaving the region of the solar spectrum which has been 
studied, we turn to what, for our sensea and our means of 
research, is another unhnotun region, and to functions we 
can barely divine. It seema probable that Rontgeu rays may 
be discovered between the 58th and 61st degrees, where the 
vibrations are from 288,230,376,151,711,744 to 2,305,843,009,- 
213,693,952 a second, or even more. 

We can see that in this series there are several blank 
spaces, regions about which we as yet know absolutely noth- 
ing. Who can say that these vibrations do not play an im- 
portant part in the general economy of the universe ? 

Also may there not be vibrations still more rapid beyond 
where the preceding series was discontinued ? 

The space we live in has three dimensions. Beings who 
might live in a space of two dimensions on the outside of a 
circle — for example, on a plane — would only understand geom- 
etry of two dimensions ; they could not pass beyond the line 
which Umita a circle or a square ; they would be imprisoned 
by a circumference with no possibility of escape. Give them 
a third dimension, with the power to move about in it, and 
they would then pass over the line without breaking it or 
touching it. The six surfaces in a closed room — viz,, four 
walls, the floor, and the ceiling— imprison us, but give na a 
fourth dimension, and endue ub with the power to live in 



^ See the Bulktin de la SoeUte Astronomique de France, year 1895, p. 
no. See alao 1897, p. 307. 



* See LoL Lumihre, Paris , 1868, vol. i, , p. 

19 



131. 



THE UNKNOWN 

it^ and escape from our prison as easily as a man can step 
over a line drawn on the ground. We can no more conceive 
this excess of space {n\) than a being only fitted to move 
about on a plane {n') can conceive of cubic space {n*) ; but 
we are not authorized to declare that it does not exist. Even 
in our earthly life there are certain faculties man cannot ex- 
plain, certain senses that we know nothing about. How 
do the pigeon and the swallow know how to find their way 
back to their nests ? How does a dog get home from a long 
distance by a road that he has never travelled ? I have else- 
where demonstrated that the inhabitants of other worlds 
must be endowed with faculties very different from ours. We 
know nothing absolutely. All our judgments are relative, 
and, therefore, partial and incomplete. 

Scientific sagacity consists in being very careful how we 
deny the possibility of anything. We have a right to be diffi- 
dent. Let us say with Arago that " doubt is a proof of mod- 
esty, and that it has seldom hindered the progress of science. 
We cannot say the same of incredulity." 

There are still a vast number of things not yet explained, 
which belong to the domain of the unknown. The phenom- 
ena of which we are about to speak are of this number. 
Telepathy, or sensations transmitted from a distance ; appari- 
tions, or manifestations that have emanated from dying per- 
sons; the transmission of thought; what has been seen in 
dreams, and in a state of somnambulism, without the aid of 
eyes, such as landscapes, towns, and monuments beheld from 
a great distance ; prescience, or premonition of an approach- 
ing event; warnings, presentiments, a few extraordinary 
cases of magnetism, puerile sayings rapped out on tables, 
unexplicable noises which seem to prove a house was 
haunted, the raising or up-lifting of bodies contrary to the law 
of gravitation, objects moved without being touched by 
hands, things which seemed to indicate superhuman strength, 
things which seem absurd, spiritual manifestations, appar. 
ent or real, disembodied spirits, spirits of all kinds — ^and 
many other wild phenomena as yet unexplicable, merit our 
interest and our scientific attention. Let us in the first 

20 



ON INCREDULITY 

place be quite convinced that all we can really study and ob- 
serye with profit must be, not superhuman, but natural, and 
that we must examine all facts quietly and scientifically, 
without connecting them with the mysterious, without ex- 
citement and without mysticism, as if we were investigat- 
ing problems in astronomy, physics, or physiology. Every- 
thing is to be found in nature, the known and the unknown, 
and there is no such thing as the supernatural. That word 
has no meaning.* Eclipses, comets, and strange stars were 
formerly considered supernatural signs of divine wrath, be- 
fore men were acquainted with their laws. Very often things 
are called supernatural which are only wonderful, inexplica- 
ble, or extraordinary. When we meet with such, we should 
say, quietly, "this belongs to the unknown.^' 

Critics who may think they see in this work a return to 
the age of superstition will fall into a grave error. Its de- 
sign, on the contrary, is to analyze and to investigate. 

Those who say: "What ! can I be expected to believe in 
things impossible ? Never ! I only believe in the laws of 
nature, and those laws are all known laws" Such men are 
like the simple - hearted ancient geographers who wrote on 
their maps of the world, beside the columns of Hercules 
(representing the Strait of Gibraltar), " hie deficit omnes " — 
here ends the world. 

They had no doubts about it ; they never suspected that 
there was to be found in that vast western watery expanse, 
to them empty and unknown, a world twice as large as that 
of which they had any knowledge. 

All our human knowledge might be symbolically represent- 
ed by a tiny island surrounded by a limitless ocean. 

There is much yet — infinitely much — ^for us to learn. 

' May I be permitted to refer in this connection to my own work, God 
in Nature? 



CHAPTER n 

ON CBEDULITY 

** AUez WU8 laver, et mangeg de rAerde."— Words from the ** Immaculate 
Conception " at Lourdes. 

OuB first chapter, on Incredulity, has shown ns how reluc- 
tant human nature is in general to accept facts unexplained, 
or new ideas of any kind, and what an impediment this men- 
tal inertia has been to the advancement of our knowledge 
concerning nature and the race of man. But happily there 
have been men like Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, 
Hersehel, Papin, Pulton, Galvani, Volta, Palissy, Ampere, 
Arago, Niepce, Daguerre, Fraunhofer, Kirehoff, Presnel, and 
Le Verrier — ^investigators and men of independent minds. 
'^ An eternal law of honor obligeS' science to look fearlessly 
and carefully into every problem which is properly presented 
to her," once said Sir William Thomson, one of the most 
eminent physicists of our time, and we might have taken 
these words as an appropriate motto for this volume. But 
in difficult, obscure, uncertain questions another duty de- 
volves on us — viz., that of examining and analyzing things 
with the most severe circumspection, and of admitting noth- 
iug, as indeed we should not do in any instance, but what 
is certain. We must not, under pretence of progress, re- 
place systematic credulity by a credulity not supported by 
any critical sense ; and possibly it may be useful, before en- 
tering more fully into our subject, to here show by a few ex- 
amples how we should be upon our guard against excess in 
another direction, not less blameworthy, not less dangerous 
than its opposite error. 

Human nature, we may remark, is made up most surpris- 

23 



ON CREDULITY 



ingly of opposite qualities. If there are men who believe in 
nothing, there are as many men who are ready to put faith in 
anything. The credulity of men and women seems to have 
no limits. Stupid superstitions, wild as those of the Middle 
Ages, have been written about^ acceptedj and defended by 
learned men. And what is very singular is that the most 
sceptical minds have frequently become dupes of the moat 
audacious falsehoods, and have upheld the most pernicious 
and amazing inanities. One glance of investigation will show 
us that the human race contains as many persons prone to 
credulity as to incredulity, for each faction is duped by its 
own way of looking at things. 

In this matter we have only I'embarras du ehoiXf examples 
being so numerous that we can pick them up anywhere. 

Who does not remember the story of the Golden Tooth 
mentioned by Footeneile in his Ilistoire des Oracles f It may 
be somewhat ancientj hut it is typical of things that have 
happened even in our own day. In 1595 a rumor was circu- 
lated that the first teeth of a child of seven, in Silesia, having 
come out of his mouth (as children's teeth do at that age), it 
was found that in place of one of his double teeth he had a 
tooth of gold. Horstius, professor of medicine Id the Uni- 
versity of Helmstad, wrote the history of this tooth in 1595, 
declaring that it was partly natural and partly miraculous, 
and that it had been sent by God to this young child to con- 
sole Christians for the ravages of the Turks. One does not 
see exactly the relation between the tooth and the TurkSj but 
the explanation was at once accepted seriously. In the same 
year RuUandos wrote a second account of the tooth, and two 
years later Ingolsterns, another savant^ published a third, 
contradicting the first two treatises in many particulars. 
** Another great man, named LihabiuSj" says Fontenelle, " col- 
lected all that had been said about the toothy and to what 
others had written added his own individual impressions. 
Nothing was wanting in the story as put forth in these 
learned works, except proof that the tooth was really a tooth 
of gold. When at last a goldsmith examined it he found 
that a bit of gold-leaf had been very skilfully applied to the 

m 



THE UNKNOWN 

child's natural tooth. But books had been written and 
theories constructed on the subject before any one had 
thought of consulting a goldsmith !'* There has been more 
than one " gold tooth '' in the annals of credulity, both ancient 
and modern. 

Do you also remember the story of the rat with a trunk 
like an elephant or tapir ? Half a century ago a very learned 
naturalist was made the victim of a hoax concerning this new 
variety. 

A zouave in Africa, who had little to do in the service of 
his government, amused himself by animal grafting, which 
he practised upon rats. He transferred a bit of a rat's tail 
to its nose, and the junction succeeded perfectly, as the 
same operation succeeds when a new nose is made upon a 
human face by a bit of skin taken from the forehead. A 
very learned man belonging to the Museum of Paris paid a 
large price for the first rat, which was sent him as a specimen 
of a new species. Others were forwarded to him, for which 
he also paid a generous sum ; nor was he undeceived until 
he attempted to increase the new breed of rodents by the 
association of males and females ; their progeny had no 
trunks, they were only ordinary vulgar rats of the known 
species. 

We may here observe that the man of science being 
strictly honest (for there would be no science without 
honesty), was not in the habit of mistrusting the genuine- 
ness of the specimens he worked upon, and it is more easy 
to dupe such men than to deceive others. In astronomy, 
chemistry, physics, and geology, as well as in natural history, 
there are no scientific men who ever practise deception. A 
mathematician or geometrician always believes that 2 and 2 
make 4, and that the three angles of a triangle are equal to 
two right-angles. Unhappily, this confidence is not applicable 
to business nor to politics, nor to the usual vocations of people 
in this world. 

I once knew an eminent geometrician, one of the most 
learned professors of the Bcole Polytechnique, a member of 
the Institute, a man greatly distinguished, and highly re- 

24 



ON CREDULITY 



spected both for his intellect and for his moral qimlities. But 
he was the dupe of the most audacious fraud than can be 
well imagined, and might stand as the perfect type of a man 
whose credulity coold be beyond belief. A skilful forger, 
named Vrain-Lucas, knowing his enthusiasm as a collector 
of autographs, actually sold bim, at immense prices, false 
autographs of Pascal, Newton, Galileo, Henry TV,, aud 
Francis I.; emboldened by success, he subsequently sold 
him letters of Charlemagne, and at last the autographs of 
^^ Vercingetorix ! ... of Pythagoras ! . , , of Archimedes I 
^^■. • • of Cleopatra ! Nay, he went so far as to sell him 
^^ letters of Lazarus, who was raised from the dead, of Mary 
^^Magdelen, and even, I think, of oar fcsaviour ! In the course 
^■of seven years, 1862 to 1869, M. Michel Chasles bought 
^^^from this impost er 27,000 such autographs, for the good 
round sum of 140,000 francs I Notwithstanding the skill 
and ability of the forger^ there were from tho first little 
things in the letters that should have thrown doubt on their 
authenticity. I remember among others a letter of Galileo's, 
in which he said that probably a remote planet might be found 
I by observations made in the vicinit^^ of Saturn. The man thus 
I had the audacity to make Galileo predict in 1640 the dis- 
I CO very of Uranus, made by Herschel in 1781, and con- 
I founding the orbit with the celestial body that traversed it; 
the great Italian astronomer was made to say that the new 
planet would be found behind Saturn* I amused myself by 
' calculating the position of Uranus at tho time the letter 
I was supposed to have been written. It was not even in the 
same part of the heavens as Saturn. I drew out a diagram, 
^fiind went straight to the great geometrician to show him 
^■rhat nonsense Galileo had been made to say. To my im- 
^Bneuse astonishment M, Chasles replied that ^*tbat proved 
^Bnothing,'' and that he was sure of the authenticity of Galileo^s 
letter. He showed it to me. It was in a handwriting re- 
sembling that of Galileo, written on old yellow paper, with 
water-marks, and it was folded and covered with post-marks 
of that period. The deception was really complete* But to 
^ave made an astronomer say that Uranus was to be sought 

25 




THE UNKNOWN 

for behind Saturn, a thing that only a school-boy could have 
asserted, was too much. The autograph collector became 
so blind that he purchased, a few months later, for ready 
money, a pass written by Vercingetorix, m French I for 
"the Emperor Julius Caesar/^ I do not think there can be 
a more striking example of credulity to be met with else- 
where. In all such cases we may find a sharp object-lesson 
which we should do well to remember. 

I address this warning to those who are less learned than 
my friend the collector, but who think themselves much 
wiser, people who say with confidence, " Such a thing could 
never happen to me !" No doubt it seems hard to slip suddenly 
down such a descent. But I have more than once observed 
that those who think themselves the wisest have their weak 
points. Some could not, for instance, eat a comfortable din- 
ner if there were thirteen at table ; some touch metal as soon 
as they apprehend a misfortune; some fear that they will 
fall ill if they break a looking-glass^ some shudder if a salt- 
cellar is upset near them, or if two knives are laid across each 
other, etc. Persons have told me seriously, that changes of the 
moon had an influence on eggs, on women, on wine in bottles, 
on the growth of hair, and on the cutting down of timber. 
We need not be too sure of our wisdom ! 

How many persons still object to start upon a journey on 
a Friday,, or on the thirteenth day of the month? Look at 
the receipts of railroads, tramways, and omnibus lines, and 
you will be astonished at the falling off on those days. Visit 
Paris and amuse yourself by looking round you, and you will 
see how few houses have number 13 in our streets, boule- 
vards, and avenues; you will then remark how this unwelcome 
number has been replaced by 11 Ms. This reminds us of the 
bi-sextile years in Rome, when a day was added surreptitiously 
at the end of February, but it had no name, that it might 
be overlooked by the gods! And have we never met per- 
sons who consult mediums of reputation at the Foire des 
Jambons 9 

Our ancestors in the Stone Age and the Age of Bronze 
trembled before all the forces of nature; they turned these 



ON CREDULITY 



fbices into divinities, and peopled fields, forests, fountains, 
valleys, caverns, grottos, and cottages wibli imaginary beings, 
whose memory to this day has not entirely disappeared, and 
who have left to ns moderns an inheritance of superstition. 
There are such popular beliefs everywhere, and the most ab- 
surd prejudices still influence the actions of a large part of 
the hnman race. 

There are people who persist in believing, as their ancestors 
did in the days of the Romans, that it is possible to avert 
storms by the tricks of sorcery. In 1870, in a village near 
Issoire, in the Puy de D6me, a priest had the reputation of 
being able to protect his parish, and to send wind and hail 
storms over into other parts of the conntry. He might be 
seen, when a storm was threatening, at a window in the belfry 
of his chnrch, making his incantations. When he died he 
was replaced by a cm^e who, unfortunately, entered on hia 
functions just before a violent storm. The peasants, seeing 
the storm approach, had implored him to avert it, but he had 
jaot done so. From that day forward the nickname of gr^e- 
pux (accomplice of the hail) was bestowed on him, and the 
people of his parish became so opposed to him that the bishop 
had to remove him elsewhere. 

An old sailor living at Toulon, had, in 1885, the reputation 
of being able to call up a storm on the day fixed for the 
faithful to go to Mount Sici^ on a pilgrimage to Notre Dame 
du Mai. People believed so firmly in his power that they 
carefolly concealed the date on which they proposed to make 
the pilgrimage. 

We might give other examples. The patron saint of 
Vienx-Beausset near Toulon, is St. En trope us. He was 
held to have power to bring rain when he pieaseiL A few 
years ago, one day in May, the keeper of the hermitage in 
which was the ancient statue of the saint, took him down 
from his pedestal, put him in the doorway, and began to be- 
labor him with blows. A passer-by, astonished to see what 
he was about, asked the reason. " Ok ! moun honan moussu/* 
replied the sacristan, **si lou menavi pas ensin n*Gn pourriB 

mfaire," which being interpreted is, ** Oh I my good sir, if 

27 



THE UNKNOWN 

I did not treat him this way I could do nothing with him/' 
Soon after this rain fell, and the crops were saved. 

On the 15th of July, 1899, near Albertville, in Savoy, the 
cur^ of Th6n68ol blessed a new cross, " the Cross of la belle 
fitoile,'' re-erected at the altitude of 1856 metres to replace 
the old cross which had been burned by the inhabitants of 
the neighboring commune of Scythenex, because they fancied 
that it kept off hail from the commune of Mercury-Germilly, 
in which it stood, which was not to their advantage. Three 
hundred people were present on the occasion, having made 
the journey in terribly hot weather. 

M. Berenger-P6rard relates in his interesting collection 
entitled Superstitions et Survivances, that in certain parts of 
Province midwives have an infallible recipe for curing chil- 
dren of whooping-cough. The child must be passed seven 
times in succession under the belly of an ass, from right to 
left, and never from left to right. There are asses in the 
country much renowned for their curative powers. A very 
good one was owned in the village of Luc, a few years ago, and 
its reputation was so great that children were brought to it from 
thirty miles around, from Draguignan and even from Cannes. 

The same authority tells us that one of his friends having in 
1887 visited a monastry in a certain great city of Provence, 
remembered that the statue of St. Joseph, which had long 
stood in the parlor of the community, had its face turned to 
the wall. He supposed at first that some careless servant had 
misplaced the saint, but, on asking about it, was informed 
that St. Joseph was being punished for not having granted 
the prayers that had been addressed to him. The visitor 
inquired further, and was told that he had been asked to in- 
spire a certain neighbor, who was very pious, with the idea of 
leaving in his will a piece of land to the community, which 
it was very important for it to possess. The pious neighbor 
had likewise been informed that " if St. Joseph remained deaf 
to the prayers of the community he would be put down into the 
cellar and there flogged.'* The author adds: " I could hardly 
believe my ears, and yet I had to accept the evidence of facts, 
for more than twenty persons afterwards assured me that 



ON CREDFLITY 



they knew of such a castigation having been inflicted on the 
saint. I also learned further that in certain towns of the 
Benches du Khone, in til e Lyonnaia;, and even in Paris, thia 
practice had been put in force in the same comrannity. All 
these things taken together make it impoaaible to doubt the 
punishment of refractory saints, however astonishing it may 
appear to he," 

At Toulon, about 1850, a woman having a very sick child 
prayed before a superb ivory crucifix that she possessed, and 
which she held in the greatest reverence and regard* It 
probably was part of the pillage of some nobleman's chateau 
daring the Revolution, for it was of great artistic value* 
But the child died notwithstanding the mothers prayers, 
neiivaineSi and wax tapers that she burned upon the altar. 
In her despair the woman seized the crucifix, and said to the 
figure that hung on it : 

'^ Deceiver ! is it thus thou woaldat answer my prayers ? 
Then see what I will do to thee !" 

And suiting her action to her words, she flung the cruci- 
fix out of an open window. 

Saint Simon relates in his memoirs that, at the siege of 
Namur, in 1^92, it rained so heavily on St. Midard^s day (the 
French St. Swithin), that the soldiers infuriated because it 
portended forty days of rain, turned their anger against the 
saint, and burned every image and picture of him that fell 
into their hands. 

Sometimes such matters were treated in a spirit of gayety, 
even when a neuvame^ or perhaps two, did not put a stop 
to rain. In the days when Paris attended the *'hunt of 
St. Genevieve,^' her statue was supposed to have influence 
on the weather, when it was carried in procession from the 
church of St. fitienne-du-Mont to IS'otre Dame. The pro- 
cession one day had hardly started when rain began to fall 
heavily. "The saint has made a mistake," whispered the 
bishop of Castres to his next neighbor ; *' she fancies we arc 
asking her for rain." 

Baron Ilausser, in his travels in Italy^ heard the following 
conversation in a street in Naples : 

29 



THE UNKNOWN 

^^ How is your child ?^' 

^^Not any better. His fever is still bad/' 

"You must have a taper burned to St. Gertrude/' 

" I have. It was no use.'' 

"What chapel did you go to ?" 

"The one in the Via di Toledo.'' 

"Ah ! my poor woman, that St. Gertrude is the very worst 
in all Naples. You can get nothing out of her. Go to the 
church in the Piazza dei Oapucini. You will see that tJiat 
St. Gertrude is much kinder to poor people." 

In that same city of Naples, those who have been present 
at the miracle of the liquification of the blood of St. Jan- 
narius, know how many of the faithful among the spectators 
grow nervous and impatient when it is slow to appear. 
In 1872 I came near getting myself into trouble by looking 
too closely at the famous reliquary exposed to the adoration 
of the crowd. Everybody knows the story of General Cham- 
pionnet in 1799. 

A few years since, when visiting the crypt of the Vierge 
Noire, at Ohartres, I entered for a moment into conversation 
with a peasant woman who was coming out of the church. 
"Oh, monsieur," she said, "this Virgin is not so great a 
lady as Notre Dame des Victoires, in Paris, but she listens 
much more favorably to us." This opinion reminded me of 
Louis XI. taking from the band of his hat the little leaden 
image of Notre Dame d'Embrun, replacing it by that of 
Notre Dame de Cl^ri, and addressing to the latter at once 
his royal prayers, with full confidence that she would hear 
him. 

Popular superstitions are so widespread that one meets 
them everywhere. I was passing not long ago through an 
old village built in the Middle Ages, perched like an eagle's 
nest on a rugged mountain in the Department of the Alpes- 
Maritimes, and when I went into the church the physician of 
the place, a learned archaeologist, who was with me, pointed 
out to me a box into which the faithful flung little notes, 
accompanied by some small offering, addressed to St. An- 
thony of Padua, whom they implored to help them to recover 

30 



ON CREDULITY 

lost things. The answer came back, very often written on 
the same paper as the note, and placed in a niche very near. 

Credulity takes all forms. The superstitions which relate 
to customs, and so forth, concerning marriages, are among 
the most numerous and surprising, and it may be interesting 
to mention some of them. 

In the village of Banduen, in Provence, there is a rock 
which forms an inclined plane. On the fdte day of the pa- 
tron saint of the district, young girls who wish to be married 
have from time immemorial come to slide down this rock, 
which is now as polished as marble. 

In the village of St. Aurs, in the Basses - Alpes, there is 
another stone down which young girls slide who wish to find 
a husband, and young wives who wish to bear a son. 

At Loches, barren women come and slide down the " grind- 
stone of St. Aurs,'' a stone like those at Banduen and the 
Basses-Alpes. This practice is far older than the present 
day. Is was in use in ancient Greece, and is still in great 
favor in Tunis. 

The pilgrimage to Sainte Baume, between Marseilles and 
Toulon, has, for a thousand years, been held to promote mar- 
riage and to insure children. It is the object of most sin- 
cere devotion among the peasant women of Provence. 

In many parts of France young girls who wish to be mar- 
ried fling willow leaves or wooden pegs into fountains. If 
the leaf swims straight with the current, or if the peg floats, 
the young lady will be sought in marriage before the end of 
the year. 

Near Gufirande, in Brittany, young girls put bits of pink 
wool into crevices in Druidical stones, that they may be mar- 
ried within a year. 

At St. Junien-des-Courbes in the Haute -Vienne, they 
invoke St. Eutropius, and hang a garter from their left leg 
upon a cross. 

In the little town of Oisans in the Isere they go in the 
month of June to a chapel on the mountain of Brandes, near 
which is a tall stone in the shape of a sugar loaf; they kneel 
before it, touching it devoutly with their knees. 

81 



THE UNKNOWN 

At Laval, in the church of Avesni^res, there is a great 
statue of St. Christopher, in whose legs young girls stick 
pins if they wish to be married that year. 

Near Perros, in Normandy, in the chapel of St. Guiriez, 
girls go on pilgrimages to get married, and stick pins in the 
saint's nose to induce him to favor them. 

In the valley of Lunain, in the Seine-et-Mame, there is a 
Druid stone called Pierre f rite, into which young men anxious 
to marry stick nails or pins. 

Near Troyes, young girls who want a husband place a pin 
on a mound called the Cross of Beigne. 

Near Verdun, wives who desire to have children go and sit 
upon a rock, where is the outline of a sitting woman. The 
village people call it St. Lucy's chair. They believe that this 
act will be favorable to their wishes, and it seems that Anne 
of Austria once seated herself there before the birth of Louis 
XIV. There is a similar thing at Sampiques in the Meuse. 

In the Ardennes the protection of St. Philomena is of 
most service to those who do not wish to be old maids ; — de 
coiffer Sfe. Catherine. 

At Bourges not long ago might be seen in the Rue Cheoriere 
in the Faubourg du Chdteau, a statue of the good St. Gre- 
luchon, in a niche in the wall of a house, from which wives 
desirous of maternity used to scratch the dust that they might 
make a drink with it that would promote fecundity. At 
Poligny, in the Jura, young wives go for the same reason to 
embrace a tall stone, which tradition says is the petrifaction 
of a giant who once tried to violate a young maiden. 

At Dourgues, in the Tarn, near the chapel of St. Ferreol, 
are rocks with holes through them ; — if lame persons or para- 
lytics can get through these openings they will be cured. In 
the cellar of the church at Kimperl6 is a tall upright stone 
with a hole in it, through which if any one can pass he is 
cured of headache. In the Lande of Saint Simeon, in the 
Omo, sick people climb over a Druid stone which is said to 
have virtue to cure a great number of maladies.' 

1 Beranger-Ferand Superstitions et Surmvanees. A beautiful story by 



ON CREDULITY 



M, Martinel found almost fifty fountains whose wonderful 
properties seem to have been held in respect from time im- 
memoriaU He has taken great pains to collect the legends 
of Brittany and Berry, where such stories are still told after 
dark at sewing-circles. That part of the world was famous 
for witches who held intercourse with wolves, for we re- wo Ives, 
and for fortune-tellers. Certain places to this day are the 
object of superstitious terrors there are forests full of witches^ 
who all night wash their clothes^ and there are marshes full of 
will-o'-the-wisps. At nightfall the darkest parts of the woods 
are filled with mysterions noises, lugubrious phantoms glide 
among the trees, which are shaken by some invisible hand. Woe 
to the mortal who strays into theee dark retreats ! He will 
never get out again. 

Villagers and cottagers in lower Berry still believe in the 
existence of giants, who formerly inhabited the country, and 
who raised the natural or artificial mounds so numerous in 
that region, These giants are personified Gargantua, whose 
story (popular not only in the part of the Indre that touches 
on the Creuse, hut all over western France) was known long 
before that of the hero of Rabelais. Eabelaia most probably 
borrowed the myth and the mime from legends in Saintonge, 
Poitou, and lower Berry, places where he lived for sometime. 

The memory of the fairy folk is still kept fresh in many 
parts of Berry. It is fairies who almost everywhere raised 
dalmem and menhirs, {Dobmjis are great Druid stones, one 
stone resting on the top of two others, like a kind of altar, 
and me7iMrs are tall stones standing alone.) These stones, 
notwithstanding their enormous weight, the fairies carried 
in their gauze aprons* They are generally spoken of as Fades, 
Fadees,* Martes, and Marses* In some places, however, they 
are mentioned with respect as Dames and Demoiselles, as 
they are in southern France, They may be seen wandering 
about at night, celebrating mysterions rites in grottos and on 
rocks, rotmd the dolmens and menhirs scattered over the 

George Sand, less kuowo than it deserves lo be, called " Nanon," gives 
a fall accouot of these superstitions, the folk lore, and the fairy lore of 
rural Berry,— The TBAjfSLATOR. 
c 38 



THE UNKNOWN 

landscape which borders on the wild and picturesque country 
of la Creuze, Bouzanne, Anglin, and Portef euille. 

Martes are tall, hideous women, very lean, scantily clad, 
with long, black, wiry hair. Their breasts are flabby and 
pendent. Prom the top of the slab that crowns a dolmen, or 
from the uppermost peak upon a menhir, they often call at 
nightfall to the shepherds and laborers, and if these do not at 
once respond to their advances, they rush after them, flinging 
their breasts back over their shoulders. Woe to the man who 
does not fly fast enough ; they will force him to submit to 
their vile embraces. Their husbands, brothers, or lovers are 
called Martes also, or Marses, and are the giants of super- 
human strength who quarried stones for the dolmens and 
the menhirs* 

The Fades are much gentler and much nicer than the 
Martes. They generally occupy themselves with the flocks. 
It is their charge to watch over the many treasures hidden 
away in strange, subterranean places, whose entrance is closed 
by the menhirs and dolmens. Their power, however, only 
lasts a year. It expires on Palm Sunday. 

At Vertolaye, in Auvergne, there is a rocking stone, where 
mothers bring sickly children to make them robust, or, 
as they say, solid as a stone, and with full use of their 
limbs. 

Near Saint Valery-en-Caux may be seen on the beach the 
ruins of an ancient chapel to St. Leger, nothing of which 
now remains but its square belfry. Weakly children are 
brought to it and made to walk five times round the ruins, 
that they may have a light step. 

St. Hubert protects hunters, St. Boch cures hydrophobia, 
St. Oorneille takes care of beasts, St. Cloud cures boils, St. 
Aignan cures ringworm. These beliefs are very ancient. 
Pausanias relates that at Hyetta, in Boeotia, there was a 
temple of Hercules with a rough stone which cured sick- 
ness, and at Alpenus a stone consecrated to Neptune had 
the same property, etc. 

I have sometimes been present, in the environs of Paris, at 
Morsang-sur-Orge, not far from Juvisy, at the midsummer 

84 



ON CKEBTJLITY 

fete, the fete of the summer solstice, St. John's Day. This 
fdte was once pagan, now it has been christianizedj but it 
keeps its ancient impress. When the sun^ the end of life, 
has gone down into the bright west, and twilight spreads oyer 
the earth, a great bonfire is prepared on the open square be- 
fore the church; a beautiful pine-tree is brought from the 
forest, the priest comes out of the church, followed by the 
choristers and choir-boys, and after he has Messed the pile 
made ready for the bonfire* they light it, and the fiaine crackles 
and ascends. All the village is there. The boys and girls 
draw near, waiting till the fire has burned down ; then the 
girls have to jump over the hot ashes without burning them- 
selves. The boldest and most agile is most applauded ; she 
will be married before the end of the year. Then the brands 
are carried off, before they are quite consumed. They are 
kept in the peasants' cottages, which they preserve (like the 
blessed palms brought from the churches on Palm Sunday) 
from fire and lightning. 

Many place a naive confidence in these customs, handed 
down by traditions-traditions as old as the days of the Gaula 
and Romans. The custom has been kept np for fifteen or 
perhaps eighteen centuries. The St. John^s fire is to this 
day lighted in almost every part of France; as I write, I say 
to myself, '^am I not writing of Gaul ?" 

Who has not heard of the little cakes called the crapes of 
Chandelenr? They bring good luck to agriculture, to com* 
merce, and to all other enterprises ; they must be made with- 
out fail on one particular day (the 2d of February) » Napo- 
leon, before he left for Russia, made crepes, and said, laughing, 
*'If I turn over this one safely I shall win my first battle; 
and this other one I shall win the second !'' He turned over 
one, two, three, but the fourth fell in the fire — '' presaging,'' 
says an historian, ^*'the burning of Moscow." 

In Berry, at la Chatelette, St Cluignolet makes women 
bear children ; at Bourges this office is done for them by St* 
Guerlichon; at Bourg-Dien it is St. Guerlichon; at Vendrcs, 
in the Attier, it is St Fonfcin; at Auxerre, St. Faustin, etc. 
In spite of opposition from the ciiHs^ women scratch marble 

as 



THE UNKNOWN 

dast from a certain part of the bodies of these saints^ atid 
drink this dust in a glass of water. 

At Gargilesse, in the Creuse, when the cure has taken down 
the statue of St. Guernichon, which had long stood in the 
church, women who desire to become mothers, now scratch 
the marble statue on the tomb of Guillaume de Nafllac, which 
it seems is getting worn away by the new use it is put to. At 
Kocamadour, in the Rouergne, women not satisfied with their 
husbands, go to the church door, which they kiss, and at the 
same time rattle the great bolt, or else they touch a bar of 
iron called the sword of Soland. 

At Antwerp, women alHicted with sterility have recourse to 
the holy prepuce of Jesus Christ, sent to them for this very 
purpose from Jerusalem by Godfrey de Bouillon, Marquis of 
Antwerp, in hope of making their ancient pagan worship of 
*' Le Ters " an object of piety, known under another name to 
Roman ladies, i There is an especial brotherhood devoted to 
the service of this relic of the circumcision, a feast day which 
once most illogically began our Christian calendar. 

In many provinces of Prance the people still believe in 
various kinds of sorcery. In Provence, for example, they be- 
lieve in the tying of knots in aiguillettes, which is supposed to 
prevent the consummation of a marriage ; in Italy they be- 
lieve in the evil eye, and in Alsace in were-wolves. They 
also believe in charms, which can annul enchantments. At 
Toulon dress-makers sew salt into the hems of wedding-dresses, 
salt being supposed to insure the future happiness of the 
newly married pair. 

In Paris the coffer mark has also its adepts, and, as in 
Rome in the days of Tiberius, they continue to consult men 
who draw up horoscopes which predict the future fate of a 
child by astrological rules concerning the position of stars 
and planets on the day of its birth. Astrologers exist still. 
Now how can any one believe in the value of a horoscope 
when we know that at least one child is born into the world 
every second in some part of the globe? that is sixty every 

> This relic is also shown in Rome at St. John Lateran. 



ON CREDULITY 



minute, or about 3600 every hoar, say 86,400 a day; so that, 
if the stars had any real influence over destiny, ten children 
bom at the same moment would have the same fnture : a 
queen and a farm aervant-girl who became mothers at the 
same moment would give birth to two beings whose fate 
would be goveraed by the same laws. 

Belief in amulets, charms, medals, and scapulariea is still 
as mach alive among civilized people as it is anioog savages, 
in France as on the Congo or in the Soudan, Any one who 
wishes to know more of it may read the books of Monseig- 
neur de Segur, Dom Guereager, or that of the Abhe de Ht, 
Paul, on the Cross of St Benedict, which, Messed by Pope 
Benedict XIV,, will cure everything, toothache, sore throat, 
and headache ; will purify water in the wells, make trees put 
forth their leaves, stops conflagrations, protects horses, cows, 
cats, fowls, trees, vines, lamp-glasses, etc., etc. I am not in- 
venting any of these things. Here are a few quotations from 
the record : 

'^ A cow had a violent cough,'^ writes Dom Querenger (in 
his Cross of Si. Benedict, p. 73), ''she did not eat and gave 
no milk, A visitor made the mark of the cross on her fore- 
head; using a formula that the medal prescribed. He recom- 
mended that the medal should be steeped in water with a 
little bran, which the cow should be made to drink every day 
till she was cured; and he hung op another medal in the 
stable. A few weeks later he had the satisfaction of hearing 
that the cow had completely recovered," 

The same medal has an influence on trees. '^ I cut away 
all the large branches and left only the trunk of my tree,'* 
writes the author of the book called Origine et effets admi' 
ratios de la croix de SL Benoit/' the Ahh6 de St. Paul, 
'*the cut of the saw having shown me that the branches 
were really dead, I placed at once a Cross of 8t, Bene- 
dict under the bark, at the same time praying to the saint 
to make my fine tree revive, for it was the admiration of all 
the country rouut^. In the spring it put forth as usual its 
luxuriant foliage," 

During the Commune, these medals, slipped into the bar- 

37 



THE UNKNOWN 

ricade of the Rue de Bivoli, preserved the Naval Department 
as well as the repository of maps and plans from destruction.' 

Who does not know the history of the Holy Tear of Ven- 
ddme, a tear shed by Jesns at the grave of Lazarus^ caught 
up by an angel^ and kept in a golden coffer ; for ages it has 
been the occasion of many miracles at Venddme, and has 
been a great source of revenue. Then there is the hair of 
the Virgin Mary, shown in Naples! And the robe without 
seam, woven from the top throughout, which is offered to 
the adoration of the faithful in the church at Argenteuil, 
and also at Treves, etc., etc.? 

Credulity is everywhere. See how many wax tapers are 
burnt in churches before pictures and images of saints, 
that they may obtain from heaven the cure of some sick 
person, good fortune in business, success in an examination, 
etc. The wax tapers representing many prayers addressed 
to heaven, do they not remind one of the prayer wind-mills 
that the people of Thibet rely upon to draw down divine 
blessings ? 

Everybody knows the history of Notre Dame de Lorette, 
the house of the Virgin Mary, the Santa Oasa which was 
transported, it is said, from Nazareth to Loretto in 1294, 

* See Paul Parfait's D' Arsenal de la Divotion, et le Dossier des Peter- 
inages. I might cite a great many more instances of superstition. 
St. Antony of Padua, at the present moment, seems to be in great 
favor. The chief Catholic newspaper, La Oroix, said on September 7, 
1899, "885 letters have this week been placed in the box of St An- 
tony, 8 Rue Franpois I. They returned thanks to him, or they im- 
plored his aid for various blessings ; 72 cures. 104 spiritual mercies, 227 
temporal favors ; for 81 conversions, 59 cases of employment, 317 espe- 
cial mercies, 12 vocations, 802 other favors ; for blessings on 32 schools, on 
47 religious houses, on 100 houses of business for 8 lost objects, for 106 
young men, and for 8 parishes." A poor workman, father of eight chil- 
dren, had promised 5 francs to St. Antony of Padua if he recovered, and, 
finding himself better, sent the sum, and prayed the saint not to let 
him have a return of the same suffering.— (Z<n> et Cher) " I send you 
franc 50, the sum we promised to pay every month for protection to 
our crops and trade," etc. The accounts made up November 11, 1899, 
show that this house had received, in gifts to St. Antony, 1,800,000 francs 
in its treasury, besides money left by will. 



ON CREDULITY 



after having tarried for awhile in Dalmatia, The church 
which contains it was finished by Brauvante, onder the pon- 
tificate of Julins II.j in 1513. The Santa Casa, which is 
bnilt of bricks, measures 10 metres, 60 in length, 4.36 in 
width, and C.21 in height. (The metre is a little more than 
a yard,) Not long since it was not ",good form^* to doubt 
the authenticity of this house, or its miraculous transporta- 
tion through the air and over the Adriatic Sea. 

Nowadays Notre Dame de Lourdee has taken the place of 
Notre Dame de Lorette. Those who take charge of the af- 
fair at Loordes take no pains to conceal their own contempt 
for the credulity of worshippers. This may he seen by read- 
ing the inscription they have engraved in golden letters on 
a marble slab, in which the **^ Mother of God ^^ says, ad- 
dressing little Bernadette: " Do me the kindness to come back 
here j*' and again, ** I trust many will come hither ;" and 
again, "come wash in this water, and eat of this grass/' 

It is quite common to meet with persons who deny any be- 
lief in the questions now before us, bat who quietly accept 
things still more startling, for instance, the story of the 
deluge that overwhelmed the earthj of which it is written 
that the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and 
the windows of heaven were opened and rain was upon the 
earth for forty days and forty nights . . . and the waters 
prevailed exceedingly upon the earth, fifty cubits upward 
did the waters prevail, and the high hills that were in the 
midst of the whole heaven were covered/* For one hun- 
dred and fifty days the Ark floated on the waters, with 
Noah, his family, and the animals, male and female, that he 
had taken with him. No story in the Arabian NigJits seems 
more amazing, but the faithful have accepted it, as it 
stands, as literal truth, as they have done the miracle of 
Joshua causing the sun to stand still. 

And in the subjects upon which we have here to speak— 
stories of apparitions, manifestations, dreams, presentiments, 
experiences in hypnotism and spiritualism — how great a field 
is given to credulity ! I knew an officer of great merit who 
never doubted the presence of those whose names were rapped 

39 



THE UNKNOWN 

oat on his table, and who held discoarse with Newton and 
Spinoza after breakfast every Sunday. I knew another who 
discussed social philosophy with Jean Valjean, never remem- 
bering that that personage is fictitious, owiug his origin sole- 
ly to Victor Hugo's imagination. A great lady of mature age, 
and very intelligent, \irho had been intimately associated with 
Lord Byron, used to call him up every Saturday evening that 
she might consult him as to her investments and business 
affairs. A doctor of medicine of the Faculty of Paris chose 
as his associates in the other world Dante and Beatrice, who 
came regularly to converse with him, but ^^ never together y*^ 
he said, "because they were forbidden to approach each 
other.'' A medium who was more than ordinarily extrava- 
gant had had twelve children and lost seven. Every month 
he inquired of the lost concerning their health and what they 
were doing, and carefully wrote down all he was told. An- 
other called up "the soul of the earth," which responded, and 
directed all his thoughts, etc. 

Spiritualism, like religion, has been put to many uses with 
which it has but very slight connection. It has made mar- 
riages, real or temporary ; it has imposed on human weak- 
ness, and it has made wills. I knew a woman, once very 
charming, who became rich and married a marquis because 
she made a table say to the man whose name she coveted 
that his first wife pointed her out as her successor. I knew 
a widow whose baby was announced and accepted before its 
birth as the reincarnation of a lost child whom she had dear- 
ly loved, and afterward the way was pointed out to her for a 
second marriage. I knew another woman who, under pre- 
tence of spiritualism, sells cabalistic rings, with which she 
professes to cure all maladies, etc., etc. 

A very good story is that of " Le Diahle au diu neuvidme 
siecle/' a pretended revelation of freemasonry, by Diana 
Vaughan, which mystified a large part of the French clergy, 
several bishops, two cardinals, and even Pope Leo XIII., 
though the whole of it was a forgery by Leo Taxil, as he cyni- 
cally told the world in 1897. The appearance of devils and 
she -devils among the freemasons, in impious and obscene 

40 



ON 




i ceremonials, had been taken seriously and as truth by grave 
theologians. 

But political credulity, it must be owned, is oven more far- 
reaching than that of religion. When we remember that at 
this very moment Frenchmen, Grermans, Russians, Eoglieh- 
men, and Austrians, etc., believe that they all ought to be 

t soldiers and live in filthy barracks, passing their time in 
grotesque exercises, and also that all citizens in European 
conntries spend for the glory of maintaining imaginary fron- 
tiers, traced oufe on paper, sixteen million franca a day, to 
keep men from staying in their own homes and minding 
their own business, one feels that verily the age of reason has 
not yet dawned on our poor little planet, and that voluntary 
slavery is part of the patrimony of the human race. 
Yes, we are still imperfect, and human credulity offers no 
Bnbject as worthy our attention as the incredulity that 
springs from fixed ideas. How difficult, therefore, it is to 
keep a just balance, and quietly to follow the dictates of pore 
reason! 

Yes, credulity exists 'everywhere, forming a balance per- 
petually with unbelief. Let us beware of both of them. The 
sngurs of antiquity are not yet all dead ; progress has not 
killed the successors of those priests of old who predicted 
what was to happen by the entrails of victims, nor has it 
given up belief in presages. The human mind does not move 
quickly in matters of intelligence. I may here add, too, with 
Humboldt, that presomptuons scepticism, which rejects facta 
without investigating them, is more blameworthy in some re- 
spects than irrational credulity. 

It would be easy to multiply examples. I merely wish to 
point out in this second chapter that wo ought to he on our 
gnard against creduUff/, just as we should be against incredu- 
lity. Both run to excess in opposite directions ; we should 
keep ourselves distant from both of them while engaged in 
examining the extraordinary facts of which we are about to 
speak. 

Let us deny nothing, let na assert nothing, let us observe 
impartially. That probably is the moat difficult position we 

41 



THE UNKNOWN 

can maintain in this order of things. For my own part^ I beg 
those who may be tempted to accuse me either of credulity 
or incredulity, not to do so lightly, and not to forget that I 
am always on my guard against either extreme. I uphold no 
theory. I ah A seeker after truth. 



CHAPTER m 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS MADE BY THE DYINa, 
AND OF APPARITIONS 

Bes fails! Pas de phrases. 

We have thus far placed ourselves on guard against two 
intelleetiial tendencies that hinder a free search for trnth— 
incredniity and credolity — and we will take great care to keep 
our minds in a free and independent state, which is more in- 
dispeBsable than it has ever been in the kind of studies to 
which we are about to apply ourselves. At each step we 
shall knock up against one or more of our habitoal scientific 
ideas, and shall be forced to reject facte and to deny them 
withont eofficient examination. At every momentj toOj when 
once canght in the current, we shall feel that we are gliding 
too fast into acceptation of insnfRciently explained phenom- 
ena, and we shall be liable to fall into the absurdity of look- 
ing for the causes of what never existed. May the positive 
spirit of the experimental method to which our human race, 
though still BO base and barbarous, owes what little progress 
it has made, not abandon us in our present researches. 

I know well that the experiinental method itself is not 
perfect ; that it has even led eminent psychologists to doubt- 
ing about everything. Taine has taught os that '' exterior 
perception is a pore hallucination," and that in our normal 
condition we, although we may be healthy and reasonable, 
have nothing but *'a series of hallucinations which lead to 
nothing.** Berkeley, John Stuart Mill, and Bain have declared 
that bodies have no real existence, which our own minds, un- 
der illusion, have transformed into substances; and so with 
other things around us. According to these three philoso- 



THE UNKNOWN 

phers there is nothing real in a stone^ in a bit of iron^ in a 
tree^ or in an animal. One of our most profound French 
mathematicians, whom I questioned recently on the subject, 
assured me that in his opinion there was nothing real but 
sensations. How can you have sensations without a sentient 
being ? Therefore, such a being must exist. If we admit- 
ted my friend's theory, the universe itself would exist only 
in the imagination of men, and, consequently, oould have had 
no existence until there were men upon the earth. I rather 
think that such is the opinion of my very gifted friend, Ana- 
tole Prance, and some of his contemporaries. Now astron- 
omy and geology prove — without going further to seek — 
that this world existed before man. And, then, if you 
admit your own sensations, you cannot but admit those of 
your neighbors. Therefore your neighbor exists as much 
as you, and other beings must exist' too, and likewise things. 
We had better keep clear of too much transcendental reason- 
ing. Zeno of Elea once demonstrated that an arrow in flight 
is motionless, and Democritus that snow is a black substance. 

Let us not indulge ourselves in the delights of paradox. 
No doubt it is a very amusing game, and raises us for a 
time above vulgar common-sense, but the younger Alexander 
Dumas has shown us by his own example that the spirit of 
paradox is not without its dangers, and that it sometimes 
leads to what is absolutely false. Let us try, therefore, to 
be serious, and upon our best behavior. 

In order to know what we are about in the mysterious 
world that we are now going to enter, and to draw some in- 
structive observations from what we find there, we will begin 
by a methodical classification of phenomena, and group 
together those which seem alike, endeavoring to educe con- 
clusions from them which may seem to us well founded. 
This object is worth some pains. It has relations to our- 
selves, to our nature, our existence, and our future state. 
These questions ought to be interesting to us. But of 
course there are people who will shake their heads and 
laugh, and who will feel superb contempt for our endeavor. 
I hear them say : 

U 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



"You know perfectly well that stich so-called glimpses 
beyoDd oor ordinary horizon are only imaginary, hecause for 
us death ends all/' 

But, no— we don't know it ; nor yon, either. Yon know 
nothing aboot it, and your affirmations, like your negations, 
are mere words. All human aBpirations protest against an- 
nihilation. Ideality, dreams, hope, and jnstice cannot be 
pure illusions any more than the bodies that we wear on 
earth. Has not feeling the same right to be taken into 
consideration as reason ? Whatever may be oor conclu- 
sions, we are confronted by a real and important prob- 
lem. ** The immortality of the son!,'" wrote Pascal, ^*is a 
thing so important that only those who have lost all feel- 
ing can rest indifferent to it, cart be content to know if it is 
not, or if it is.-^ Why need we despair of ever knowing the 
nature of the thinking principle which impels ns to know 
whether it will survive the death and destrnction of our bodies? 
Will the investigations npon which we are about to enter give 
ns any certain ideas npon this subject ? Possibly they may. 

However that may be, I beg my readeis when they peruse 
these lines to be, if possible, neither too fixed in their opin- 
ions {intransigeanls), radicals, atheists, materialists, Jews, 
Protestants, Catholics, nor Mohammedans, but simply to 
think for themselves. I am making an attempt to instruct, 
nothing more. I have in this work no personal aim. Some 
of my best friends assure me that I shall compromise myself 
if I go too earnestly into that inquiry, that it is an act of im- 
prndence, that it shows too much courage, and, in aw^ord, is 
very rash, I beg these good friends to consider that I am 
nothing — nothing at all bat a seeker after trnih, and that to 
all that may be written, said, or thought about me I am abso- 
lutely indifferent. No interest^ no outside influences have 
guided my steps. 

It may be also objected that the snbjects of which I treat 
have been objects of search for many centuries, that nothing 
hitherto has been found ootj and that therefore nothing ever 
will he found. According to snch reasoning no knowledge 
could ever have been gained. 

i5 



THE UNKNOWN 

** Vitum impendere vero/' (Let us consecrate our lives to 
truth.) This was the motto of Jean Jacques Bousseau. 
Can there be a more noble one for any philosopher^ for any 
thinker? 

We will try to draw up a statement like the legal inquiry 
of a juge dHnstruction in a French criminal case, for it will 
contain human elements which we must take into account, 
and these phenomena are not so simple as an astronomical 
observation nor an experiment in physics. Our first duty 
will be to follow a strict method of study, and to begin by a 
classification of the facts to be examined. 

We will commence by instances of telepathic manifestations 
from the dying. I say manifestations, not merely appari- 
tions, that I may gather together a number of facts of which 
visible apparitions from only a portion. 

The word telepathy has been known to the public for some 
years. It was etymologically constructed like the words tele- 
scope, telegraph, telephone, from the Greek roots nyXc, far 
oflE, and TraOoc, sensation. Sympathy and antipathy have the 
same etymological derivation. It simply means, therefore, 
*Ho be warned by some kind of sensation of a thing which is 
passing at a distance.^^' In the course of the facts with 
which we are about to deal we meet at every step uncertain 
or exaggerated stories, doubtful accounts, and observations 
that have no value because they show no critical spirit. We 
must therefore proceed with extreme prudence — I was about to 
write mistrust — ^inadmitting these facts, and we should throw 
out at once all that appear to us uncertain. In this case, 
more, perhaps, than in any other, we need to take into account 
the judgment, the knowledge, and the moral and intellectual 
value of the persons who report them. A love of the ex- 
traordinary or the marvellous may sometimes transform into 
fantastic events very ordinary happenings which could be ex- 
plained in the easiest way in the world. I know persons 

' The word telesthesia would be preferable and more exact, for ttoBo^ 
indicates a morbid state, a state of sickness, which has nothing to do 
with this subject, while alaOriiyic means sensitiveness or sensibility. We 
have nothing to do with pathological cases. 

46 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

who might tell me stories for a year, with a great expenditure 
of apparent proofs and eloqiieEt demonstrations, and of all 
their narratives I shoolcl not believe a word, any more than 
I do the protesfcationa of certain depoties and cabinet minis- 
ters. There are others, on the contrary, whose character 
at once inspires us with confidence, a confidence which 
events are sure to justify. In mj search for facts to be 
studied on this subject these principles of elementary pru- 
dence have carefully guided me^ and I hope I have never 
relied on any report unless I could feel that its authenticity 
was voached for by the enlightened scientific spirit of those 
who have had the goodness to trnst it to me> or been guided 
at least by my own knowledge of their sound Judgment and 
good faith. 

I will lay before my readers, in the first place, a number of 
things observed by various persons, of which we will attempt, 
as I have said, a methodical classification. In drawing np 
this statement on which we are to form a jndgment, we need 
a large number of authentic facts before our eyes. Expla- 
nations and theories will come afterwards. We are workmen 
pursuing the experimental plan. 

We will begin by certain manifestations, strange and inex- 
plicable, made to the living, who were far away, by their 
dying frieods at the moment of dissolution ; we do not apeak 
of the deadf aud our readers should observe the distinction. 

We begin by mauifestations from the dying made to persons 
in a normal state^of health, wide awake — not during sleep, nor 
in dreams. There are manifestations that are made in dreams 
which ought not to be considered as of no value, but they will 
be considered in another chapter. 

My excellent friend General Parmentier, one of our most 
distinguished and most trusted savants, sends me the two fol- 
lowing facts, which occurred in his own family J 



* M. Partnenlier is an artillery officer, a general of diviaiaa, preaideEt of 
the French alliance for tbe promotion of tbe Frencli language in foreign 
couDtries, vice-preside tit of tlie Afitionomical Society of France and of 
the Geographical Society, former preaident of the con[imittee of fortifica* 
lions, a pupil of the ficole Poly technique, grand officer of the Legion of 

47 



THE UNKNOWN 

I. ' ' Several persons had met for a breakfast-party given at Andlau in 
Alsace. They waited for the master of the house, who had gone out hunt- 
ing ; but time passed and they sat down at table without him, his wife 
saying it could not be long before he came in. They began breakfast 
very merrily, expecting every minute to see the too-zealous votary of 
St. Hubert appear. But time went on. Every one was astonished at 
the length of the delay, when suddenly, though the day was calm and 
the heavens blue, the window of the dining-room, which was wide open, 
was shut violently with a great noise, and opened wide again immediately. 
The guests were surprised, astonished that this could have happened 
without overturning a decanter of water which was standing on a table 
close to the window, but the decanter remained undisturbed. Those who 
had seen it and heard the noise could not understand anything of what 
had occurred. * Something dreadful has happened !' cried the lady of 
the house, rising from the table. The breakfast was suspended. Three- 
quarters of an hour later the dead body of the sportsman was brought in 
on a stretcher. He had received a load of shot full in his heart. He died 
immediately, having only time to exclaim : '*My wife t my poor chil- 
dren I" 

Now here is a fact whose coincidence has to be explained. 
At first its details seem commonplace and absurd. What sig- 
nified the strange movement of the window ? And what had 
it to do with the young man's death ? Would it not be mere 
loss of time to treat so insignificant an incident as a serious 
matter ? 

The frogs of Galvani were also insignificant, so was the 
saucepan of Papin^ but electricity and steam are of vast im- 
portance. 

Not long ago lightning struck a man who was out in an 
open field, but did him no harm except to tear off his shoes 
and fiing them twenty yards away, pulling out every one of 
the nails in their soles. 

Lightning another time completely stripped a young peas- 
ant girl, leaving her naked lying on the ground. Her clothes 
were found afterwards hanging in a tree. 

Another time it killed a laborer at the very moment when 
he was putting a piece of bread into his mouth for his break- 
Honor, etc. I mention these things that such of my readers as do not 
know him personally may judge of his character and what he has ac- 
complished. 

48 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

fast. He remained in the same position. When some one came 
np to Mm and toEched him, he crumbled to ashes, but his 
clothes were not burned. 

The freaks of nature ought not to prevent our studying its 
phenomena. But very much the contrary. 

No doubt on first hearing the story of the sportsman at 
Andlau, our immediate impulse would be to deny the facts at 
once. But certainly it is not to be supposed that the story 
could have been invented in all its parts, nor that it could be 
wholly false, for the circumstances contained in it and the 
character of the narrator at once pot an end to that idea. But 
we might suggest that the movement of the window had been 
occasioned by some common cause, a breeze, a shock, a cat, 
or something of the kind, and that its coincidence with the 
sportsman's tragic death made it seem, after the event, of more 
importance. We can hardly, however, accept this soppositiou, 
becanse the miatresa of the house and her guests were so im- 
pressed by it. 

Here is what seems to me to be the fact : 

The window was not shut, the bottle of water proves it, 
and this circumstance was remarked at the time. Before 
beginning to analyze these facts we may consider if the lady 
and the other persons present conld not have had an ilhmon 
both of sight and eoond, the sensation of a phenomenon that 
was taking place, and that their brains had been deej^ly im- 
pressed by something exterior to themselves. 

We might think that this something exterior to themselves 
was the psychic force of the dying man, whom they were 
every moment expecting, who should have been sitting with 
them at table ; might he not have been transported thither 
in thought, wliich in tiiat effort exhausted its last energy? 
Wireless telegraphy. 

Why is it manifested in this fashion ? 

How could the cerebral impression have been made on 
more than one person at once ? 

How ? Why ? 

Tes povrquoi, dit U dteu, ne finiraunt jamais* 

We are in the midst of a mystery, and all we can do is to 

h 



THE UNKNOWN 

form an hypothesis. Of course^ if this story stood by itself, 
we might pass it over without notice, but it is one of a great 
number of similar experiences that we have here to relate, 
many of them still more remarkable. Let us for the present 
say no more about explanations but continue. 

Here is a second instance of telepathic transmission at 
the moment of death, not less singular, probably more so, 
which I owe to the kindness of General Parmentiere who 
vouches for its authenticity. 

II. ' ' We were at Schlestadt in the Department of the Bas-Khine. It was 
a warm summer night. The door of communication between the bed- 
room and the salon had been left open, and in the salon two windows 
had been raised and were kept open by chairs whose backs touched them. 
The father and mother of M. Parmentier were asleep. 

*' Suddenly Madame Parmentier was awakened by her bed being shaken 
from top to bottom. She was astonished and somewhat alarmed; she 
woke her husband, and told him what had occurred. 

** Suddenly a second shock took place, this time very violent. General 
Parmentier's father thought it was an earthquake, though earthquakes 
are very rare in Alsace. He got up, lit a candle, and seeing nothing 
unusual went to bed again. But, immediately after, the bed was again 
shaken violently; then came a great noise in the next room, as if the 
windows were shut violently and all their panes were broken. The 
earthquake seemed to continue worse than ever. M. and Madame Par- 
mentier got out of bed and went to examine what mischief had been done 
in the salon ; they found nothing. The windows were wide open, the 
chairs were in their places, the night was calm, the sky clear and full of 
stars. There was neither earthquake nor wind-storm, the noise and com- 
motion had been fictitious, M. and Madame Parmen tier lived au premier; 
on the r&t-de-chaussee^ oh the floor below them, lived an elderly woman 
whose wardrobe creaked abominably every time she opened or shut the 
door. This disagreeable creak they had heard among the noises, and had 
asked each other what could induce the old lady at that hour to be 
opening and shutting her wardrobe door. 

" When they found that there had been nothing to cause noise or con- 
fusion in the salon, that the windows were still open and the furniture 
unmoved, Madame Parmentier grew frightened. She began to think 
something had happened to her friends, to her father or mother, who, 
having been recently married, she had left shortly before at Strasbourg^ 
and who were all, as she thought, in perfect health. 

'*But she soon after heard that her old governess, whom she had not 
seen since her marriage, and who had gone back to Vienna to her family 

50 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

^n Austria, had died that mine night, aud that before she died she had 
several times expressed regret that she had been separated from her dear 
pupil, for whom she had a warm attachment/* 

This is a second fact, which has some analogy with the 
other^ and which seems to show the same things. An im- 
pression sent from the brain of a dying person impressed the 
^rain of another more than tliree hundred miles away., and 
^gave it the sensation of extraordinary and nnnsiial noises. 
Conld this impression have struck either directly or through 
sympathy the brains of two persons at the same time ? 

When next day Madame Parnieotier asked her neighbor 
in the rez-de-cJiatissee if she had opened her creaking closet 
in the middle of the night, if she had been shaken in her bed, 
and if she had heard unnsoal noises, the answer was no, and 
she added that, being an old woman, she was a poor sleeper, 
and if anything unusual had occurred she most have known 
^it. The psychic despatch had therefore reached only the 
Iwo beings m rapport with the dying woman from whom it 
"came. 

No doubt we feel surprise at the materialness, the com- 
monplaceness, the vulgarity eveUj of this manifestation^ and 
ire can also say, M. and Madame Parmentier's senses de* 
Reived them ; it was an halhicination without a cause ; it was 
a ere chance, a mere coincidence. But it is our duty to look 
' into things without previone prejudice for or against them, 
and to seek to discover, if possible, the laws that control 
them, 

Let us go on, for the value of our facts is increased by their 
accumulation, since we are dealing with coincidences. 

III. M* Andre Bloch, a young musician of great talent, 
who took the jmx de Rome^ and is a member of the Astro- 
Bomical Society of France, sent me recently a fact of the same 
kind, that came under his observation in 1896 : 



' My dear Master,— It was in June, 1896. My mother came to 
ionie to join me during the last two years of my residence in Italy, and 
ehe lived near the Academie de France, in a family pennon la the Via 
Gregorian a» where you yourself once lived. 

51 



THE UNKNOWN 

" As at this time I had still some work to finish before I could go back 
to France, my mother, in order not to interrupt me, went about the city 
by herself, and only came to join me about mid-day at the Villa Medici 
where we breakfasted together. Well ! one day I saw her coming, in a 
state of great excitement, at eight o'clock in the morning. When 1 asked 
her what had happened, she told me that when she was dressing she had 
suddenly seen beside her her nephew Rene Kraemer, who looked at her 
and said, as if laughing at her surprise, *Tes, indeed, lam quite dead.* 

" Very much frightened, she made haste to come to me. I quieted her 
as much as i>ossible, and then turned our conversation on other subjects. 

"Two weeks later we both got back to Paris, after having travelled 
through a portion of Italy, and then we heard of the death of my cousin 
Rene, which had taken place on June 12, 1896, in the apartment his 
parents occupied, 81 Rue de Moscow. He was fourteen years old. 

'* Thanks to some work I was finishing in Rome at the time of my 
mother's visit, I can verify the date, and even the hour, when this phe- 
nomenon took place. On that day my little cousin, who had been ill 
with peritonitis for some days, was dying at six in the morning, and died 
at mid-day, after having several times expressed his desire to see his aunt 
Berthe, my mother. 

*' It should be observed that in none of the numerous letters we re- 
ceived from Paris had any word been said about my cousin's illness. My 
mother's great affection for the boy was well known, and she would have 
gone back to Paris had she heard that the least thing was the matter with 
him. They did not even telegraph to us the news of his death. 

*' I may add that when it is six in the morning at Paris, clocks in Rome, 
by reason of the difference of longitude, say seven, and it was precisely at 
that hour that my mother had the vision. 

** Andre Blogh. 

"11 Place Malesherbes, Paris.** 

The fact observed by Madame Bloch is of the same kind as 
the two preceding. At the hour when the dying boy was 
losing consciousness of earthly things he was earnestly think- 
ing of his aunt, wtom he loved with filial tenderness, and 
whom she loved in return like her own son. May not the 
psychic force of the dying lad have manifested itself without 
losing its boyish character ? A boy of fourteen may well have 
said, laughing, "Well, yes ! I am just dead." 

All this may be denied ; denial is always possible. But what 
have we to prove that it was not so ? Is it not better to be sin- 
cere, and own that these coincidences are at least remarkable, 
although we cannot understand them in the present condition 

52 



lE] 



nji 



of onr knowledge ? The hypothesis of an hallucination with- 
out a cause is not worth serious consideration. Let us put 
words aside and seek. 
M. V. de Kerkhove wrote to me m February, 1889; 

IV. •*0n the 25th of August, 1874, being iq Texas, in the United 
States, towards sunset, iifter diiioer I was sitting smoking my pipe in 

f the lower hall of the honae in which I livedp looking towards the sea, 
I with a door opening lo the northwest on my right hand. 

I "I was sitting at the spot marked A. 

^^^^ I Sudden!)^ between the door-posts of the 

^^B door, marked B, I saw distinctly my aged 

^^^^H pi rt grandfather. I was in a sort of quiescent 

^^^^H A — I state, semi-conscious of my own peace 

^^^^H and comfort^ as a man is when his diges- 

^^^^^P I tion is good and he has just eaten a good 

dinner. I felt no astonishment at seeing 
my graadfather. Indeed, at the moment I was in a semi- vegetable state^ 
and was thinking of nothing, hut at last I said to myself : 

'^*It is strange how those rays of the setting sun nmkes everything 
purple, even the face of my grandfather, and the folds of hia garments/ 
*Mn fact, the sun w^as aetling at that moment, a brilliant red, and 
threw its last rays from the horizon diagonally through the door into llie 
hall. My grandfather's face wore its usual look of kindness ; he smiled 
and appeared happy. Suddenly he disappeared as the sun went down, 
and I woke as from a dream^ with the conviction th^it I had seen an ap- 
parition. Six weeks later I heard in a letter that my grandfather had 
died during the night of August 25th-26th, between one and two o'clock 
in the morning. Between Belgium, where my grandfather died, and 
Texas, w*here I was, there is a difference in time of five hours and a half. 
The sun setting in Texas at seven o'clock corresponded to the time in 
Belgium at which my grandather died.*' 

Some might say that here was a mere illusion produced hy 
the rays of the setting sun. This is not likely, for M, de 
Kerkhove distinctly recognized his grandfather, and we 
onght especially to notice in all these experiences that the 
date of the apparition coincides exactly with the date of 
the death. 

On November 10, 1890, the following letter was written to 
me from Christiania : 

V. "My dear Master, — Your work Uranie induces me to make 
|ni0WD to you an event told me personally by the indiridtial to whom it 

53 



THE UNKNOWN 

happened. It was M. Yogler, a Danish doctor, who lives at Gudun, 
near Alborg, in Jutland. M. Vogler is a man in excellent health, both 
mentally and bodily ; he is of an honest, straightforward disposition, 
without the least tendency to any neurasthenic or imaginative turn of 
mind — quite the contrary. 

"When a young medical student he was travelling in Germany with 
Count Schimmuelmann, a man well known among the nobles of Hol- 
stein. They were about the same age. At one of the university towns 
of Germany, where they had resolved to stay some time, they hired a 
small house. The count occupied the lower floor and M. Vogler the 
floor above him ; the front door and the staircase belonged to them both. 

" One night, M. Vogler having gone to bed, was still reading. Suddenly 
he heard the front door at the foot of the staircase opened and shut. 
He took no notice of this, thinking his friend had come in. However, 
a minute after he heard steps, as if some one was walking wear- 
ily up the stairs. The steps stopped at his door. He next saw his 
door opened, but nobody came in. He still heard the steps, however, 
which came along the floor of his chamber and drew near his bed. He 
could see nothing, though all the time there was plenty of light in the 
chamber. When the steps, by the sound, seemed to have come close 
to his bed, he heard a heavy sigh, which he recognized to be that of his 
grandmother, whom he had left in good health in Denmark. At the 
same time he recognized the steps upon the stairs as the slow and drag- 
ging steps of an old woman. 

"He noted the exact time of this, for instantly he felt intuitively that 
his grandmother was dying, and he wrote it down on paper. Later a 
letter from home informed him of the sudden death of the old lady, who 
had loved him best of all her grandchildren. It was found that she died 
exactly at the hour he had noted down on paper; and thus the good lady 
had bidden farewell to the grandson she dearly loved, and who did not 
even know that she was ill at the time of her death. 

"Edouabd Hambbe, 
**Attomey-at-Law, Secretary to the Bureau of 
" Public Works at Christiania." 

That this young man was warned of his grandmother's 
death by hearing steps and by a sigh must be admitted. 

Madame P6ret, at Juvisy, mother of the postmistress of 
that place, wrote to me in December, .1898 : 

VI. " The fact I have to relate took place some time ago, but I remem- 
ber it as if it were yesterday, for it made a great impression on me, and 
if I were to live a hundred years I would never forget it. It was dur- 
ing the Crimean War, in 1855. I was living then in the Rue de la Tour, 
at Passy. 

54 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

"One day about break fas t-ti me, that ia, about nooD, I went down into 
' the cellar, A ray of sunsliiae came tlirougli tbe gratiag and lit up the 
dirt floor. The part it lighted up looked suddenly to me like the sand 
upon a beucb, aud stretched upon it lay one of my couaias. an officer 
in command of a battalion. Mncb frigbteDed^ I dared not go a step 
farther. I could hardly get up the steps agaio. Tbe family, when 
they saw bow troubled and pale I was, overwhelmed me with questions. 
When I told Lbem what I bad seen they began to laugh. 

**A furtnight after we received the sad news of tlie death of Major 
Boiler. He bad died while beicg disembarked at Varna, and the date 
of his death corresponded to the day when 1 aaw him stretched out on 
the sand in tbe cellar." 



It is as difficult to explain this fact as the precediog ones, 
in the present state of oar knowlecJge. No doubt some one 
will say that this was a case in which a ray of sunlight 
played its part, that the young girl was thinking of her 
cousin, that she had heard much talk of the number of 
deaths in the army, of cholera, of wounds, of sickness, and 
the innumerable dangers of this most stupid and uncalled 
for of all wars, and that what she saw was an illusion. This 
is easily said ! Madame Feret is absolutely sure that she 
saw the officer very distinctly, she saw with her own eyea her 
cousin lying on the sand, and it was on the beach he fell, 
when, dying of cholera, he was put ashore at Varna. Let us 
also notice the coincidence of the date. May we not rationally 
think that the officer, feeling himself dying on the shore of 
a strange land, would have naturally thought of the France 
he would never see again, of Paris, of his parents, of the 
young cousin, the remembrance of whose sweet face may 
have charmed his last moments ? I do not suppose for an in- 

IBtant that his cousin in Paris really saw the beach at Varna ; 
en the contrary, I believe that the cause of the vision was 
far off on the Turkish shore, and that there was telepathic 
communication between the dying man aud his young cousin. 
Let us pass in review some more of these curious manifes- 
tations, and then sum op the facts. Theories and explana- 
tions can come later. The more reports we have of facts, 
the more we may feel that the statement of onr case makes 
progress. I received a few days since a letter from a deputy, 

55 



THE UNKNOWN 

a well-known poet, a man mucli esteemed tor the sincerity of 
his convictions and the disinterestedness of his life : 

VII. * ' Dbar Mastbr and Fbibnd,— It was in 1871. I was of the age 
when one plucks flowers in life's field, as you gather stars in the 
heavens, but in a moment when I had forgotten my daily posey I wrote 
an article which landed me for a certain number of years in prison. 
Everything comes with a sharp point to those who have not learned 
how to wait. So I was in the prison Saint Pierre at Marseilles. There 
also was Gaston Cremieux, who was condenmed to death. I was very 
fond of Cremieux ; we had dreamed the same dreams, and had fallen 
on the same reality. In prison, at the hour for exercise, it happened one 
day that while we had the happiness to converse, that the talk fell on 
God and the immortality of the soul. Some of our fellow-prisoners 
were proclaiming themselves atheists and materialists with great vehe- 
mence. I made tbem understand, after a sign from Cremieux, that it was 
not proper to boast of unbelief in the presence of a man under sen- 
tence of death, who believed both in God and the future life of the soul. 
Cremieux said to me afterwards : * I thank you, my friend, and when 
they shoot me I will come to your cell and give you proof of im- 
mortality.* 

" On the morning of November 30th, at break of day, I was awakened 
suddenly by the noise of little taps upon my table. I turned over, the 
noise ceased, and I fell asleep again. Some moments after the taps 
were again audible. Then I jumped out of bed and stood fully awake 
before the table. The noise went on, and was resumed once or twice, 
just the same. 

'* Every morning on getting up I had been in the habit of going, thanks 
to the complicity of a kind-hearted turnkey, into the cell of Gaston Cre- 
mieux, where he always had ready for me a cup of coffee. That day, as 
usual, I repaired to our rendezvous. Alas I there were great seals on 
the cell door, and I could see, by looking through the spy -hole (known 
as 2k judos), that my friend was not there. I had just made this terrible 
discovery when the kind turnkey, in tears, threw himself into my arms. 

** 'They shot him this morning at daybreak 1' he cried ; * but he died 
bravely.* 

** When we met that day in the prison-yard there was great emotion 
among the other prisoners. Then I suddenly remembered the taps I 
had heard that morning on my table. I cannot tell what foolish fear of 
being * chaffed * hindered me from telling my companions in misfortune 
what had taken place in my cell at the very moment when Cremieux 
was dying, with a dozen balls in his breast. I told one of them, how- 
ever, Francis Roustan, who at once gave it as his opinion that grief had 
made me crazy. 

56 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

* Sucb is the story that I told you the other evening. I have writleo it 
down jast as it recura to me as I hold the pea. Make any use of it that 
yoa may iMnk useful in prosecutiog your researches, but do not eoter- 
tuin the same opmiou of my state of raiud as my friend Roustan, for 
grief could not have made me mad id one moment before any kuowledge 
of my friend's death had reached me* I was iu my ordinary condition, 
I was not expecting the execution, and I heard distinctly the sounds on 
_4he table. This is the naked truth . Clovis Huoubs." 



According to this it would seem that at the very moment 
rhen Gastou Cremienx was shot (he liad been condemned on 
Fune 28th for taking part in the Commune at Marseilles), his 
Bpirit, acting on the brain of his friend, had given him a sea- 
satloDj an echo, a repercussion of the scene in which he was 
the victim. The firing conld not have been heard from the 
prison (it took place at the light-house), and the nois© was 
repeated several times. This fact is as strange as all the 
preceding ones, but it is surely difficult to deny that it took 
;>lace. 

Further on in this work we will discnss explanatory theo- 
ries. Let US now go on with our reports, comparing them 
with one another. The collection is very curious and very 
^'aried. 

A distinguished savanty M. Alphonse Berget, a doctor in 
* cience, holding a position in the physical laboratory of the 
Sorbonne, and examiner to the Faculty of Sciences in Paris, 
has hurriedly sent me the following narration : 

VI IL *' My mother was a young girl and engaged to my 
father, who was a captain of infantry. When the thing took 
place she was living at Sciilestadt, in the house of her parents. 

'* She had had as a friend from her childhood a young girl 
named Amelie M., who was blind. Amfilie was the grand- 
daughter of an old colonel of dragoons who had served in the 
First Empire. Being left an orphan, she lived with her grand- 
parents. She was a fine musician, mid often sang with my 
wiher. 

' When she was abont eighteen she made up her mind to 
embrace a religious life, for which she had a real vocation, and 
she took the veil in a convent at Strasbourg. At first she 

57 



THE UNKNOWN 

wrote frequently to my mother, but after a time her letters 
came less often, and at last, as usually happens in such cases, 
the correspondence ceased. 

'^ Amelie had been in religion about three years, when one 
day my mother went up to the garret to look for something 
she was anxious to find. All at once she ran back to the 
salon uttering loud cries, and fell down unconscious. They 
flew to her help, lifted her up, and she came to herself, crying 
with sobs : 

'^ ' Oh, it is horrible ! Am61ie is dying — she is dead, for I 
have just heard her singing as only a person who is dead could 
sing!* 

^^And another nervous seizure again made her lose her 
senses. 

^* Half an hour after this. Colonel M. rushed like a madman 
into my grandfather's house, holding a despatch in his hand. 
The despatch was from the Mother Superior of the convent 
at Strasbourg, and contained only these words : ^ Gome. 
Your granddaughter very ill.* The colonel took the first 
train, reached the convent, and heard that the Sister had died 
at three o'clock precisely, the hour of the nervous attack ex- 
perienced by my mother. 

'^ This fact has been often told me by my mother, my grand- 
mother, and my father, who were present, as well as my uncle 
and aunt, all of whom bear testimony that they had witnessed 
this strange incident.'* 

This fact is not less worthy of attention than those that 
have preceded it. The name of the narrator is a sure 
guarantee for its authenticity. Bomance and imagination had 
nothing whatever to do with it; and the hypothesis that 
would explain it seems the same as in the case of others. 
Madame Berget's friend at the very moment of her death, was 
thinking, intensely, it would seem, and possibly with much 
regret, of the dear friend of her childhood, and from Stras- 
bourg to Schlestadt the strong emotion of her soul was in- 
stantaneously conununicated to the brain of Madame Berget, 
giving her the illusion of a celestial voice singing a sweet 
melody. How was this done ? In what manner ? We do not 

58 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



know. But it would be unscientific to reject a real coinci- 
dence, a relation between cause and effect, a psyciiical phe- 
nomenon for the sole reason that we cannot explain it. 

"Chance is so great!*' says one. Yes^ so it is, no doubts 
bat let us be carefal lest we be influenced by long-settled 
opinions. Can chance explain these coincidences by the doc- 
trine of probabilities ? This is the point that we shall soon 
have to examine. 

But let us not waste time, we have many other documents, 

Madame Ulric de Fonvielle told me, on the 17tli of January 
of the present year (1899), the following incident observed 
by herself and by all her family. 

IX. She lived at Rotterdam. One night about eleven the 
household, according to their usual custom, had family 
prayers, then each went to his or her own chamber. Madame 
de Ponvielle had been in bed but a few minutes, and was still 
awake, when she saw before her at the foot of her old-fash- 
ioned bedstead with its canopy, that its cnrtains were pulled 
aside, and one of her early friends (whose name was never 
mentioned in the family and whom she had not seem for three 
years because of some misunderstanding with her family) 
stood before her, a^ distincUy as if she had been a living 
person. She was dressed in a large white wrapper, her black 
hair hung loose upon her shoulders, she looked fixedly at her 
former friend with her great black eyes, and, stretching out 
her hand to her, said in Dutch : 

" Madame, I am going away now* Can you forgive me ?" 

Madame de Fonvielle sat up in bed and stretched out 
her ow^n hand to grasp the hand extended to her, but the 
vision disappeared suddenly^ 

The room was lighted by a night-lamp, and everything in 
it was visible. Just then the clock struck the hour of mid- 
night. 

The next morning as Madame de Fonvielle was telling her 
mother of this extraordinary apparition there was a ring at the 
front door. It was a telegram from the Hague with these 
words : "Marie died last night at 11.45-*' 

M. Ulric de Fonvielle also assured me that the facts of the 

59 



THE UNKNOWN 

apparition and of the coincidence between its appearance 
and the young girFs death are incontestable. He knows 
nothing to explain its phenomenon^ and^ like as^ is search- 
ing for a cause. 

On the 20th of last March (1899), I received the following 
letter : 

X. " My dear Mastbb,— -Tou have asked me to write down the case of 
presentiment, second-sight, suggestion, or apparition that I mentioned 
to you. 

** I was about to go to the Naval School. I was waiting, ready to enter 
it, at Paris, in the Rue Ville I'Ev^gne, where my mother was living. We 
had a man-servant, a Piedmontese, who was very intelligent and much 
devoted to us, but he was very sceptical, with certainly no tendency to 
credulity. If I may use the popular expression: ' he believed in neither 
God nor devil.' 

'* One evening about six o'clock he rushed into the scUon, his face look- 
ing convulsed: 'Madame!' he cried, 'Madame! a great misfortune has 
befallen me ! My mother is just dead ! Just now I was in my bed- 
room. I was rather tired, and had lain down for a moment, when the 
door opened. There was my mother, pale, and looking very weak, stand- 
ing on the threshold and making me a gesture of farewell. I rubbed 
my eyes. I thought it was an hallucination ; but no, I saw her perfectly- 
I sprang towards her to clasp her in my arms. She disappeared. She is 
dead 1' The poor fellow was crying. What I can myself testify is that 
a few days later the news arrived in Paris that his mother had died the 
very day and hour when he had seen her. 

"Baron Deslandbs, 

"Former officer in the Navy. 
"20 Rue de Lorochefoucauld, Paris." 

The Baroness Staffe, whose charming books are in every- 
one's hands, has communicated to me the two following 
cases : 

XI. Madame S., who became French after her marriage, 
and belonged to a celebrated medical family, was truth it- 
self. She would have died rather than be guilty of a false- 
hood. This is what she told me. When she grew up she 
was living in England, though she was not of a British fam- 
ily. When she was sixteen she became engaged to a young 
man, an officer in the army of India. 

One spring day, at the sea-side, where she was living, she 



^ELEPl 



[MUNICATK 



was leaning over the balcoaj of lier father's house and think- 
ing of her absent lover. Suddenly she saw him in the gar- 
den, opposite to lier, but he was very pale and emaciated. 
Nevertheless, she was delighted to see him, and calling out Joy* 
onsly, " Harry ! Harry ! '^ she flew down-stairs. She hnrriedly 
opened the door, expecting to see her beloved. There was no 
one. She rushed into the garden, examined the spot where 
she had seen him, shook all the bushes, looked everywhere 
— there was no Harry, 

Her friends followed her. They tried to calm her ; they 
wanted to persuade her that it was an illusion. She would 
only repeat, *'But I saw himl I saw him!" and remained 
sad and uneasy. Some time after this she was informed 
that far out at sea her betrothed had died suddenly of some 
disorder, on the very dmj and hour when she saw him in the 
garden. 

XII. Bernadine was an old servant, very ignorant ; she 
had never so much as heard of spiritualism, and people said 
she was given at times to too much liquor. 

One evening she had gone down into the cellar to draw 
Kome beer, but she came back almost immediately with her 
pitcher empty, looking pale and ready to drop. They all 
came around her, saying, '* What's the matter^ Bernadine?" 

"I have just seen my daughter — my daughter in America. 
She was dressed all in white; she looked ill. She said to 
roe, 'Good-bye, mother/" 

" Yoix are out of your senses* How could you have seen 
your daughter ? She is in New York." 

"I did see her. I did hear her. Ah, what does that 
mean ? She must be dead !" 

We all said to one another, '^ Bernadine has taken a drop 
too much." 

But she remained inconsolable, and the next post from 
America, after the incident, brought Bernadine news of the 
death of her daughter. She died on tlie day and at the hovr 
rben her mother had seen her and had recognized her voice* 

M, Binet, a typographer at Soissons, sent me the follow- 
ing account of a circumstance which happened to himself : 

61 



THE UNKNOWN 

XIII. ^^ M6zi6res, my native village, had been destroyed by 
a bombardment which lasted only thirty-six hours but made 
many victims. Among these was the little daughter of oar 
landlord, who was cruelly wounded. She was eleven or 
twelve years of age. At this time I was fifteen, and very 
often played with Leontine — that was her name. 

"About the beginning of March I went to pass a few days 
at Domch6ry. Before I left home I knew that the poor lit- 
tle thing could never get better, but change of place and 
boyish carelessness made me forget by degrees the sorrows I 
had witnessed and the terrible scenes I had been through. 
I slept by myself in a long narrow room, the window of 
which looked out into the country. One evening, when I 
had gone to bed as usual at nine o'clock, I could not sleep, 
which was something remarkable, for as soon as dinner was 
over I could generally have slept standing. The moon was 
fuU'and very bright. It lit up the garden and threw a strong 
ray of light into my chamber. 

"As I could not go to sleep I listened to the town clocks 
striking the hours, which seemed to me very long. I gazed 
steadily at the window, which was just opposite to my bed, and 
at half-past twelve I though tl saw a ray of moonshine moving 
slightly, then a shadowy, luminous form floated past, at first 
like a great white robe, then it took a bodily shape, and com- 
ing up to my bed, stood there smiling at me. I uttered a 
cry of, * Leontine !' Then the bright shade, gliding as be- 
fore, disappeared from the foot of my bed. 

"Some days later I went home, and before any one had 
spoken to me of Leontine, I told them my vision. On the 
day and in the hour when she appeared to me the poor child 
had died.'* 

M. Castex-Degrange, assistant director of the [filcole des 
Beaux Arts, at Lyons, sends me the following : 

XIV. "My father-in-law, M. Clermont, a doctor of medi- 
cine, friend and pupil of Doctor Potham, who has just died 
in Paris, had a brother, father of the said doctor, who lived 
in Algeria. One morning my father-in-law, who was not in 
the least anxious about his brother, whom he believed to be 



Fin perfect health, was in bed. Before going out to yisit bis 
f patients it was his cnstom to take a cup of coffee in bed, 
I He was partaking of this little repast, and talking to his wife, 
I who was sitting near him, when suddenly the bed under him 
[received a shock so violent that he was thrown backward, 
md the cup of coffee he held in his hand was spilled, 
** Later he found that at that very honr her brother had 
jdied in Algeria. He had gone out bathing in the sea, when 
something in the water either bit him or pricked him sharply 
|in the heeL Lockjaw set in, and thirty hours after he died/' 
M, Chaband, former chief of a great school in PariSj a pro- 
l-lessor much esteemed^ to whom very many of his former 
Jpupils are grateful for excellent instruction, sends me the fol- 
Jiowing report of what happened to himself : 

XV. '* Part of my childhood was passed at Limoges, with 
m old uncle who spoiled me exceedingly, and whom I called 
^ndpapa. We lived in the first story of a house, in the 
Jtasement of which there was a restaurant. 

'*I own with shame that I often amused myself by playing 

Itricks on the proprietor of this establishment. Among other 

aaughty things I did I one day rushed suddenly into his 

itehen and screamed out, ^Pere Garat ! come quick— my 

luncle wants you.' He at once left his saucepans and rushed 

up to our door, where I stood laughing. 

" Of course he was very angry with me and swore at me as he 
went down-stairs, but his threats did not frighten me, though 
I took good care to keep out of his reach. 

*^ When it was fine we often walked towards the Pont Neuf 
on the Toulouse road. One evening m May, 1851, when I was 
ten years old, between six and seven o'clock (I can tell the 
Ltime exactly, for my memory of these events is very clear), we 
rere going out as usual, when my uncle chancing to see 
'^Madame Ravel, daughter of the restaurateur, said to her : 
" ' How is M. Garat T 
"'Very bad, M. Chabrol.' 

'* * Shall I go in and see him ?' (My uncle was a doctor.) 
*' ' It would be of no use, M. Chabrol, My poor father is 
dying.' 

68 



THE UNKNOWN 

<^ Thereupon we went out, my old uncle much troubled, 
but I was very happy to be out-doors. 

'^ As soon as we were in the street, or rather on the boule- 
vard (de la Corderie), I started my hoop and ran after it. I 
give these details, which are certainly not to my credit, to 
show my state of mind at the time ; my heart and my brain 
were quite free from preoccupation, for I humbly confess that, 
far from being sorry for the poor restaurant-keeper, I never 
thought about him at all. I regret to say so, but it is the 
truth. 

^^Not far from the Pont Neuf the road to Toulouse divides. 
One part leads to the Place de FHotel de Ville, the other to 
the Place de la Cite. 

'^ When we got there I stopped suddenly, for I saw M. Ga- 
rat coming towards us, walking quietly in the middle of the 
road. With three bounds I ran back to my uncle. 

'^ ^ Bon papa,* I cried, ' M. Garat is up and out. Don't 
you see him yonder, a few yards away V 

^^^What are you saying?* replied my uncle, white as a 
sheet. 

" ^ The truth, bon papa. There is M. Garat — see ! Just 
look at him with his white cotton night-cap, his blue blouse, 
and his cane. Why, there ! he is beginning to cough.' 

^ ^^ Go up to him.* 

^^I did go as near as I dared, so as not to be within reach of 
his hand, which I fancied was making a gesture by no means 
reassuring. 

"I drew back in good order to the side of my uncle, who 
said, * Let us go home.' 

'^I rushed on before him. When I reached the house M. 
Garat had been dead five minutes, just the time it had taken 
me to scamper home. 

^^ I started back to tell the news to my uncle, who stag- 
gered, and said not a word. 

" These are the exact facts of the strange experience that 
you asked me to write down for you. 

*^Though I am sure of what I saw, and saw distinctly, nearly 
fifty years ago, when I was nothing but a boy, people may ob- 

64 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

^ject that I was deceived by a likeness, or that my senses were 
the sport of a delusion, but who will say tlmtan old naval sur- 
geon like my uncle, a man not credulous by nature, and little 
prone to it by Iiia profession, was likely to have been deceived 

I by what he saw in full daylight at mid-day?''' 

During the time when I was busied in examining these 
inexplicable manifestations aud apparitions of the dying, 
which was in the early moTiths of 1800, it of course chanced 
that I talked with many persons on the subject, some at my 
own house, and others elsewhere. I soon ascertained that 
the majority were in a state of the most complete scepticism, 

Cand had never seen anything of the kind* but there was a 

Fxemainder who did know of the existence of such things, I 
made a calculation that at least on© person in twenty had 
observed somethiDg of that nature or liad heard such things 
related by those around them. Such persons, I thought, 
ight furnish me experiences at first hand. 
I have now related fifteen cases reported to me by people 
with whom I had personally direct relations, and I had received 
the recital of twenty others of the same kind,J when an idea 
occurred to me that I might do in Prance what had been done 
in England a few years since^ — that is, set on foot an inquiry 
as to individual experiences in matters of this kind. 

This seemed to me an excellent way of securing authentic 
testimony of ascertaining its value, I published the first 
chapters of this work in the monthly magazine of my learned 
and excellent friend Adolphe Brisson, Annales PoUtiques et 
I^iitemireSf whose subscribers form an immense family, in 
frequent communication with its editors. There is a sort of 
intimacy among them that I never observed elsewhere, save 
in the Bulleim Meiisiiel de la Sociele Asironomique de France^ 



' Notably by M. R Delonde. an ex-deputy, president of tbe Optical 
ciely in Pjiris ; by M, Craponne, an engineer at Lyons ; by M. Dor- 
'^chaio, a FrcncU literary man at Paris ; by Madame Ida Call in Paris ; 
by M. Merger at Cbanmont in tbe Haute Marne ; by Madame la Com- 
lesse de Mouzay at Rambouillet ; by Madame G. de Mave at Javisy, etc, 
I could also find iaslaacea in Uranie and in Sldla. Tbat of M. Best is 
very cUaracterifltic, 

s 09 



THE UNKNOWN 

and formerly among those of the Magazin Pittoreaque. 
This kind of family feeling does not exist among the readers 
of the daily papers, or even among subscribers to more im- 
portant reviews. A community of ideas makes a link be- 
tween readers and managers — not that such an association 
becomes a kind of church whose members are expected to 
think after the same pattern, there is among these people 
simply a community of feeling, a good understanding, a de- 
sire to unite for common objects, and to help each other if 
they can in the same researches. Such is at least the im- 
pression I received from the letters that many readers sent 
me after seeing my first articles. 

I cannot say but that among the 80,000 subscribers to the 
Annalea there may not be (as there is everywhere) practical 
jokers, impostors, people who will believe anything, cranks, 
and so on. But they are the exceptions. The immense majority 
represents an honest average of perfectly sound sense ex- 
tending through all classes of society, from the highest posi- 
tions to the humblest, men and women of all shades of re- 
ligious belief. 

There may indeed be found among them, as everywhere • 
else, a class of bigots with narrow consciences, who are afraid 
of their own shadows, and are wholly incapable of thinking for 
themselves. Such persons wrote me at once that they would 
be as mute as fishes, that I was engaged on subjects that were 
none of my business, that I was troubling the minds of 
young persons preparing for their first communion, and that 
such questions, which concerned the devil and all his works, 
should be left to the church, which offered in its catechism a 
way to solve all mysteries. 

It is the same reasoning that devotees in the temple of 
Jupiter brought against Socrates. Where is that temple to- 
day ? What has become of Jupiter ? But all read the dia- 
logues of Socrates. 

It seemed to me, I said to myself, that it would be a good 
way of ascertaining the number, nature, and variety of the 
facts in which I am interested, if I opened an inquiry in the 
pages of the Annates and asked its numerous and sympa- 

66 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

thetic readers to tell me of any such facts as had fallen 
under their own observation or had been reported to them 
on good authority by those connected with them. My appeal 
appeared March 26, 18D9. 
Here ia what I published : 

** These mysterious cases of apparitions and manifestations on tbe part 
of the dying or the deod, and of well-defined prcseBtimentH, are as im- 
portant as tliey are intereBting, in order to malce U3 acquainted with 
human nature, both corporeally and spintuaily, and tliis is why we are 
BOW about to iindertalte tliia series of investigaLions and of especial re- 
earch into a subject which, it must he confessed, is beyond the usual 
range of science and literature. 

** We may be able to push our inquiries a little further if we can se- 
cure the assistance and sympathy of all readers of tbe Ajinal^s, and if 
l^they will but lend their help to an enterprise that perbaps has been 
Itherto neglected and nnltnown. 
** What we most want is statistical testimony, to enable us to judge of 
the proportionate number of these psychic phenomena. We could get 
iis information in a w^eelc if our readers — all our readers — would have 
llie extreme kiniloess to lend us their assistance. 

"Would they simply send us a postal-card answering yea or no to tbe 
^Iwo following questions ? 

**I. Has It ever happened to you at anytime to experience, being 
iwake. a distinct impression that you saw or heard a human being, or 
^ere touched by one, witbout being able to refer this impression to some 
"^known cause? 

" XL Did tins impression coincide with the date of any death? In 
case DO impression of the kind has ever been experienced, merely write 
no, and sign It (with your initials if you prefer). 

** In tbe case of any one having personally observed a phenomenon of 
this kind, be or she is entreatttl to respond to tbe two questions, by yes 
or BO, and then to add a few words indicating tbe kind of phenomenon 
tjrought under big or her observation, and, if there was any coincidence 
rith a death, slate the length of time that elapsed between that death 
ftnd the phenomenon. 

** In cases where facts of this kind are connected with dreams, it would 
be well to say so, if there was any coincidence with a death. 

" Lastly, if wiili out having observed or exi>erienced such a thing your- 
elf, you should know of any certain and authentic facts reported to you by 
bthers, it would bo very interesting if you would abridge their narratives 
or give them in detail 

•' This inquiry may have great scientific value if alt our readert will 
be 60 good as to send answers. We offer them our thanks in advance. 

a? 



THE UNKNOWN 

There is no question in this matter of any personal interest ; it is, on the 
contrary, a grave and serious subject of interest to all." 

As might have been expected, all the readers of the Annates 
did not send in their reports. To write a card or a letter, 
for the sole purpose of assisting the elucidation of a problem, 
requires a certain abstract devotion to the cause of truth. 
Good people of that kind are not common. To take a few 
moments away from the habitual round of life, its occupa- 
tions, its pleasures, or simply from its idleness, is an effort, a 
sort of virtue, simple as it may seem. Besides this, many 
people fear ridicule if they have anything to do with ideas of 
this kind ! I am therefore deeply and sincerely grateful to 
all those who have been so very good as to answer me, and I 
regret that for want of time I have not been able to express 
personally to each of them my thanks most sincerely. 

It would indeed be unjust to attribute the silence of all 
who did not answer me to indifference, to laziness, or to fear 
of ridicule. For example, one of the letters I received, 
which is marked No. 24, begins thus : 

^^ Since you have started this series of deeply interesting 
psyhic problems, I have been filled with an ardent desire to 
tell you a story very closely connected with myself, but I 
have not the courage to do so. Why not ? Is it timidity ? 
No. It is because of a feeling that I cannot express, but 
which must be that of many other persons among your read- 
ers. It consists in saying to one's self : * What's the use ? M. 
Flammarion must already have received hundreds of nar- 
ratives ; one more can do no good, and then among so many 
. . . will it ever be read ?' ^' 

On the other hand I have reason to know that a certain 
number of persons, and that not a small number, who have 
seen or experienced things of this kind keep them secret, and 
do not like to confide them even to near friends, sometimes 
out of exaggerated reverence for the remembrances, some- 
times because they shrink from letting any stranger comment 
on their most private affairs, and sometimes merely because 
they do not care to arouse any discussion or any criticism on 
the part of unbelievers. 

68 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

During the following months of June and Jnly (1899) I 
made a similar request in tlio Petit Marseiilais and in the 
Revue des Revues, partly through a wish to ascertain the drift 
of public opinion, 

I received 4280 answers; 2456 were no, and 1824 were 
yes. Out of these last there were 1758 letters that gave 
more or less details, but the greater number were documents 
that did not suit my purpose, I picked oot^ however, 786 
important onesj which have been classified, copied as to their 
principal facts, and the information they contained is added 
to my stock of knowledge. What struck me in all these 
narratives was the loyalty, good faith, frankness, and delicacy 
of their writers, who were careful to tell only what they 
knew and how they came to know it, without adding to or 
subtracting anything from the subject. Every one of them 
was the servant of trath. 

These 786 letters, when copied, classified, and numbered/ 
contained 1130 different facts. 

The experiences treated of in these letters offered several 
subjects for our examination which might be classified thus; 

Manifestations from and apparitions of the dying. 

Manifestations from and apparitions of living persons not ill. 

Manifestations and apparitions of the dead. 

Sight of things taking place far off. 

Premonitory dreams. Foresight of the future. 

Dreams showing the dead. 

Meetings foreseen by some inspiration- 
Presentiments realized. 

Doubles of persons living. 

Movement of inanimate things without apparent cause. 

Communications of thought at a distance. 

Impressions felt by animals. 

Cries heard from a great distance. 

Bolted doors opening of themselves. 

Haunted houses. 



» Thus clasaified, Nos. 1 to 700 came from readers of the Annates, 701 
to 748 from the Petit Marmiliau, 749 to 786 from the Hevne des Hemes, 
Many more have come ia while this hook was beiag printed. 

69 



THE UNKNOWN 

Experiments in spiritualism. 

A yery great namber of these cases are sabjective. They 
have passed through the brain of those who relate them^ 
though they owed their origin to an exterior cause. Very 
many are purely and simply hallucinations. We shall have 
to examine and discuss such by-and-by. The first truth they 
teach us is that there are many things we do not yet know. 
In other words^ that there are unknown forces in nature 
very interesting to study. 

I will first of all extract from the letters I received those 
that tell of manifestations from the dying made to persons 
who were awake and in a normal condition. I shall leave 
out everything that has to do with dreams. These observa- 
tions will supplement those that have gone before. I shall 
append to them no commentary. Discussion will come 
afterwards. I only ask that they may be read with care. 

I shall suppress all formulas of politeness^ and also all 
protestations of sincerity and of moral certainty. Bach cor- 
respondent affirms upon his honor that he is reporting facts 
exactly as he has known them. I would like this to be 
understood once for all. 

XVI. ^^On the 29th of July, 1866, Nephtali Andr6 was 
at sea, sailing between France and Algeria, where he was 
going after the academic courses of the year closed at the 
universities. Suddenly he fancied he heard his name dis- 
tinctly called * Nephtali!' He turned, looked round him, 
nobody was near. As this voice exactly resembled that of 
his father, whom he knew to be ill, and as he had heard 
something of the wonders of telepathy, he instantly con- 
ceived the idea that there was some relation between this 
mysterious call and his father's condition. He drew out his 
watch to make sure of the moment. And on reaching his 
destination he learned that at the same hour when he had 
heard his father's voice call ' Nephtali 1' his father had died. 
My grandfather was the Gabriel Andrfi, who married Mademoi- 
selle de Saules-Larivi6re, a relation of M. de Saules-Freycinet, 
the well-known Minister of War. Toky Andre, 

Letter 5, "Pastor at Florence." 

70 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMtTNICATIONS 



XVIL "I will answer yon as if I were in a witness-box. 
On Tliarsda}% December 1, 1898^ after having passed the 
evening with my mother^ I took my lamp and went to my 
room to go to bed. At once I felt a sort of apprehension ; 
something seemed clutching at my heart ; I felt that some 
one besides myself was in the chamber, some one whom I 
conUl not see, but who nevertheless was there^ or ought to 
have been. My room contained very little furniture and 
no hangingSj bo there was nowhere any one could hide, I 
gave a glance around and was very sure that there was 
nobody near me. 

*^But the feeling that there was somebody continued, I 
went out into the vestibule, I looked down the staircase. I 
saw nothing. I then had the presentiment that some mis- 
fortune was about to be fall me, that some one was going to 
rob me, or to set the house on fire, or that a gendarme was 
coming to arrest me for some crime Just committed, and 
80 on. 

'^I put my watch beside me on a table, observing that it 
was half-past nine, and went to bed. 

*'The next morning I received a telegram telling me that 
a very old uncle who had been ill a long time had just died* 
The telegram said nothing about what hour he died ; it merely 
said he died Thnrsday, December 1. 

*'l showed this despatch to my mother, saying, ^He died 
at half-past nine in the evening.^ 

*'I named this hour also to several of our friends, that I 
might have their testimony if what I had to tell were ever 
laughed at. 

*' I took the first train to Janville, where my uncle had lived* 
Janville is about twenty miles from Malesherbes. After hav- 
ing exchanged a few words with my aunt, I asked her at 
what hour my uncle died? She and another woman who were 
watching beside the death-bed, and had been present when 
he passed away, answered, both at once, ^At half-past nine 
in the evening.'*^ 

XVIIL "In October, 1897, my mother being in a room 
opening on the dining-room by a door that was standing open, 

71 



THE UNKNOWN 

heard a sort of long-drawn sigh^ and seemed to feel a breath 
pass over her face. I was out, but she, thinking I had come , 
home, and was in the dining-room, without her haying heard 
me open .the front door, she called out, * Is that you, 
Georges?^ As nobody answered, she went into the dining- 
room ; but there was no one there. When I came in at last, 
she told me what had happened. The next day she received 
a despatch informing her of the death of a cousin who lived 
at Chambon in the Loiret, about twelve or thirteen miles from 
here. 

*^ She left at once for Chambon, and heard that her cousin 
had died from the effects of a fall a few hours after the acci- 
dent. The manifestation coincided exactly with the hour 
when this relation of my mother's was dying. 

'^Geobges Merlet, 
" Juge de paix at Malesherbes, Loiret." 
Letter 2. 

XIX. '^On December 4, 1884, at half-past three in the 
morning, I being then perfectly awake, rose and got up. I 
then had a most distinct vision of the apparition of my 
brother Joseph Bonnet, sublieutenant of Spahis Third Regi- 
ment, in garrison at Batna in the province of Constantino in 
Algeria. He was then engaged in manoeuvres, and we did 
not know exactly where he was. My brother kissed me on 
the forehead. I felt a cold shudder pass through me, 
and he said, very distinctly, ^ Good-bye Angile, I am dead.' 
Very much upset and troubled, I woke my husband, 
saying to him, * Joseph is dead. He has just told me 
so.' 

** As that day, December 4th, was my brother's birthday, 
when he would have been thirty-three years of age, and as 
we had been talking a good deal about the anniversary the 
night before, my husband tried to persuade me that it was 
all the result of my imagination, and he scolded me for being 
so visionary. 

*^ All that day, Thursday, I was very miserable. At three 
o'clock in the afternoon we got a despatch. Before it was 

73 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



Fopened I knew what it contained. Mj brother had died at 
[ Keuehela, in Algeria, at three o'clock in the morning. 

" Akgele Espekok, kke Boxnet." 

'^I certify that this accoant, written by my wife, is per- 
[f ectly exact. Ositax Esperox, 

** Captain on half pay and Cbevalier of Uig 
Legion of Honor, Bordeaux." 
Letter SI. 

XX. *at was in 1845, the 28th of October. My father 

was then fourteen years of age. He said he was coming 

back from drawing a pail of water from a well about eighty 

yards from my pareuts' house. Now that moruiug he had 

seen hia neighbor, Sieur Lenoir^ a man fifty years of age, 

come home sick from his work ; ho was a shepherd, employed 

by M. Boutteville, a farmer at Nanteau-sur-Lunaiu (Seine-et 

Marne). To go to the well (see the diagram I have drawn 

here) it was necessary to pass within about twenty yards of 

the habitation of Lenoir. It was 

then four o'clock in the after- 
I noon. 
f •* Having stopped with his pail 

to rest, my father turned round 

and saw very distinctly within up^t^Housc 

two yards of him the Sieur Lenoir, J 

with a bundle on his back, coming 

towards him. Thinking that he 

was returning to ills' work, my 

father picked np his pail and 

irent home. Ilis brother Charles, 

fho was standing in the yard, 
'came in a few moments after, 

sayings * I don't know what has 

happened at Mother Lenoir's ! I 

liear them screaming and crying 

iut *' Alaa I he is dead.' '' ' Then 

it certainly is not old Lenoir/ my father said, *for I have 

just seen him going to his master's.* 

73 



PlAci or 



tlACL 

OCCirFntD 

I-6T KY 
fATMLR. 



ftt1t^r«,<MVD 1 



THE UNKNOWN 

" Without loss of time my grandmother went over to the 
Lenoirs^ and learned that the old man had died at the very 
moment when the apparition appeared to my father.* 

*'A. Bebtband, 
** School-master at Vilbert (Seine-et-Marne)," 
Letter 11. 

XXI. " We were in the country. My mother had a room 
next to that in which we slept, my wife and I. My mother 
was quite old hut in good health, and the evening before her 
death nothing would have led us to suppose her end was 
near when she went that night to her chamber. 

" In the morning, about half - past five, I was suddenly 
awakened by a noise that I thought was her bell. I jumped 
out of bed, saying to my wife, ^My mother is ringing.' 
My wife replied that could not be, for there was not a bell in 
the house, which was in the country, and she added that the 
uoise that had awakened me must be the creaking of the 
pulley in a well that was close under our window. But that 
creaking had never wakened me before. However, I 
admitted the probability of my wife's explanation, and 
attached no importance to the sudden way in which I had 
been roused. I started early for Lyons. A few hours after I 
received a despatch from my wife to tell me that she had 
found my mother dead in bed, and that there was every indi- 
cation that death must have taken place about five or six 
o'clock in the morning — that is, about the hour when an in- 
explicable sensation made mo fancy that she summoned me. 

"F. Gebi]^, 
*' Lawyer in the Circuit Court at Lyons." 
Letter 18. 

XXII. '*I had in my family a few years ago an old servant 
named Sophie. She had nursed my mother, she had nursed 
me, and helped to nurse my infant. She lived with us, but 
by reason of her groat ago could do no work but attend to the 
poultry-yard. 

* Resembles the case marked XV. 

74 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



'Sophie to me was not a mother, an old BiirsBj nor a ser- 
vant. She was jtist Sophie. I loved her with all my heart, 
as I had done in my infancy. To her I was a divinity — her 
* own dear thing.' 

'*I was returning home one night after along journey when 

heard my name called in a low voice near me. I stopped 
' my horse at once and got out of the carriage. X saw nothing, 
' I was about to get in again, thinking it all an illusion of my 
I senseSj when I heard my name called a second time. This 
time the Bonnd proceeded from inside the carriage. It was a 
voice of anguish, as if some one called for help. I knew it 
to be the voice of my poor Sophie ; hut she could not be 
there, for I knew she had been sick for some days. I got 
back into my carriage moch perplexed. Hardly was I seated 
when I heard myself called for the third time, in soft low 
tones, such as she used when I was a baby, to put me to sleep* 

'" Then I felt an undescribable emotion. To this day, 
whenever I remember it, I am upset and troubled. 

*' A few hundred yards oil I saw lights in an inn. I got 
down and made a note in my pocket-book concerning the 
strange thing that had happened to me* An hour later I 
reached home. The first thing I heard was that my poor 
old Sophie had passed away after an hour of dying agony. 

»^' Georges Parekt, 
" Mayor of Wi&ge-Fatz in tlie Aiane." 
B Letter 20. 

XXIIL " On the night of the 8fch of May, 1896, about half- 
past nine, I was going to bed when I felt a sort of electric 
shock which shook me from head to foot. My mother had 
been ill for several months, I ought to say, but nothing made 
me foresee that her end was likely to be sudden. The shock 
was so strange, so novel, that at once, without reflection, I 
imagined it announced mj mother's death. Under the influ- 
ence of the emotion that this thought excited I did not go 
to sleep for a long time, feeling a conviction that next morn- 
[ing I should have a despatch announcing all was over. My 
mother lived about thirty miles from Moulins. 

75 



THE UNKNOWN 

^^ Next mornings as I had expected^ a despatch snmmoned 
me in haste. I started at once, and found my mother hardly 
able to recognize me. She died the next day, aboat thirty 
hours after I received the warning. 

" Those who were watching her told me that the dntemal 
hemorrhage of which she died had occurred about half-past 
nine on the 8th of May, the very hour when I had expe- 
rienced the strange sensation. 

"'The Abba L. Forestieb, 

" Vicar at Sahit Pierre at Moulins." 
Letter 28. 

XXIV. "Your request makes me feel it my duty to tell you 
of a thing that happened in this little town and which made 
a great impression on its inhabitants. Here is the simple 
statement. A young fellow about fifteen, servant of M. 
Y. M. for some years, had been ordered by his master to 
take the cattle to water. I should tell you that this boy*s 
father had been very ill for two days, having inflammation 
of the lungs, brought on by attending a recent fair at Cham- 
beret, and that his illness had not been mentioned to his 
son. 

" Now about thirty yards from the stable the lad, as he drew 
near the watering - trough, saw suddenly two arms uplifted 
in the air, then a spectral form, and at the same time heard 
grodns and cries of anguish. The shock was so great that 
he swooned. He believed, as he said when he came to him- 
self, that he had recognized his father. It was between half- 
past six and seven in the evening. 

" The next day at half -past four his father died, and the 
evening before he had several times, at moments of extreme 
suffering, said he wanted to see his son. 

"All this can be testified to by a hundred people in Cham- 
beret, all persons of honor and veracity. 

" C. Defauke, 
"Druggist at Chamberet in the Corrize." 
Letter 25. 

XXV. "The following case may deserve to be reported to 

70 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



you. M. Destrub6j musical director of the 114th Eegiment, 
a man worthy of all belief, was a few days ago suddenly 
awakened by a voice calling 'Narcisse !^ 

*" This being his own name, Destrubej who was sure he rec- 
ognized the voice of his father, sprang np in bed and an- 
[swered him* 

'*' This took place between twelve and one at night. 

"A few hours later Destrubfi received a telegram telling 
him that his father was dead. He died the same night and 
at about the same hour when his son had been awakened by 
hearing him call his name. 

*' Destrubc, who was at Saint Maixent, went to Vaubeconrt 
(in the Meeac) to his fathers fimeral, and there learned that 
the last word nttered by his father as he died was Narcisse. 

P^'If this can be of any use to you in your interesting in- 
quiries I shall be only too happy, dear master, to have com- 
municated it to you, and my friend Destrub^ would be ready, 
if necessary, to confirm it. 

fc'' SOELET, 
•* Captain of tlie 137th of the Line at Fontenay-le-Comte Vendee." 
Letter 27. 
XVI. *' In Jone, 1879, one of my cousins was serving as 
»!unteer at Bayonne, Ilis parents lived in the northern 
; of the Charente-Inferieuse, about two hundred miles 
away. 

^^ One day his mother, on going into the chamber usually 
occupied by her sou, saw him distinctly stretched out motion- 
S8 on his bed. She was greatly impressed by this, A few 
^'hours after a friend of the family came to the honse and 
asked to speak to her husband, the young soldier's father. 
Their conversation took place in the middle of a large court- 
yard, and the mother^ standing at a door forty or fifty yards 
away, heard the friend, though he was speaking in a low 
voice^ say to her husband, * Don*t mention this to your wife.^ 
She cried out at once that her son was dead, 

** In fact, that very moment, on getting back from a military 
march, he had gone in to bathe at Biarritz and was drowned^ 



THE UNKNOWN 

about the same time that his mother saw his apparition. A 
comrade had sent a telegram to the friend of the family^ ask- 
ing him to tell them what had happened. 

" Clermaux, 
** Head of the Bureau of Registration at Juvigny (Ome)." 
Letter 29. 

XXVII. ^^ My great-aunt, Madame de Thiriet, feeling that 
she was about to die (April 21, 1807), appeared, four or five 
hours before her death, to be thinking deeply, but entirely 
insensible to things around her. *Do you feel worse?' 
asked the person who told me this story. *No, my dear, but 
I have just sent for Midon to attend to my burial.' 

** Midon was a person who had once been my aunt's servant, 
and who lived at Eulmont, a village about five miles from 
Nancy, where Madame de Thiriet was. The person watching 
beside the death-bed thought the dying woman was dreaming, 
but two hours after she was amazed to see Midon come in 
carrying her black clothes in her arms, and saying that she 
had heard madame calling her to come and see her die, and 
to perform for her the last offices. 

" A. d'Abbois de Jubanvillb. 
*' Formerly in charge of streams and forests near Nancy. 

Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.'* 
Letter 80. 

XXVIII. ^an 1875 my mother's first cousin, M. Claudius 
P6richon, then chief bookkeeper at the metalurgic factory at 
Horme, in the commune of Saint Julien-en-Jarret (in the 
Loire), having gone into the tobacco department, saw my 
mother distinctly in the show-window. Next day he had 
news of her death. Could my mother have been thinking of 
her cousin in her last moments ? I cannot tell. At all events, 
the truth of this story cannot be questioned. My cousin told 
it often to his children, who related it to me. He is a man 
of some education, reserved, serious, full of good sense, and 
worthy of credit. 

''Bebgeb, 

"School-master at Roanne.*' 
Letter 39. 

78 



OF TELEPATUIC COMMUNICATIONS 

XXLX, " My mother*s father lived at nniiiogue, and was 
its mayor. Not long after its sie^e he received word that hia 
fatherj who was living about ten miles from Huningne, was 
dangerously ill. In a moment be had tlie saddle pnt on his 
horse, and was off as fast as possible. Ou his way his father 
appeared to him, standing at the head of his horse^ which 
shied and reared* His first thought was that his father was 
dead, and, indeed, when he reached Rixheira, three-quarters 
of an hour later, he discovered that his father had breathed 
his last at the moment when he had seen the apparition. 

** My mother, Madeleine Saltzmann, then a young girl, mar- 
ried, a few years after, my father, Antoine Rothea, a notary at 
Altkirch, where he was employed for thirty years, 1 sue- 
ceeded him, and after the war in 1870 I quitted Alsace and 
took up my residence in France. Latterly I have been living 
at OrquevauXj in the Haute-Marne, your own department. 

Letter 40* 

XXX. "My dear mother died Saturday, April 8, 1803, The 
previous Wednesday I had received a letter from her saying 
that she had no more trouble with her heart, and speaking of 
an expedition she had made on Saturday, April 1st, to our 
country place at Wasselonnc. I had intended to go out on 
this Saturday, April 8th, I dined quietly at noon, but about 
two o'clock I felt excruciating pains. I went np to my room 
\ and flung myself into an easy-chair, where I burst into tears, 
I saw my mother lying on her bed^ wearing a white muslin cap 
with ruffles, such as I had never seen her wear; ami she was 
dead. My old servant, becoming anxious because she did not 
hear my footsteps, came up and was surprised to see me in 
8uch despair, I told her what I had seen and the anguish 
that I felt. She said it must be my nerves, and made me 
complete my toilette. 1 went out of my house \ike a person 
who knows not what he is doing. Five minutes later I heard 
the steps of my husband coming up behind me. He was 
bringing me a despatch, * Mother hopeless. Will not live 
through the night/ ' She is dead>' I cried. * I knew it. I 

saw her/ 

TO 



THE UNKNOWN 

''I went home, and we made ready to start by the next train. 
It was half-past two, Paris time, when I saw my mother lyin^ 
on her death-bed, and three hours later we learned by tele- 
graph that she had died suddenly at half-past three, Stras- 
bourg time. She had not felt ill, but had lain down two hours 
before her death, complaining of being very sleepy, and she had 
no idea of dying, for she got my father to read her a letter, 
standing at the foot of her bed. She did not ask to see her 
children, but I think she must have been thinking of me in 
her last moments. When I arrived at Strasbourg, Monday, 
about eleven o^clock, my mother had been buried, but those 
who dressed her wrote to me that, just as I had seen, she wore 
the muslin cap, and was laid with it in her coffin. 

"A. Hess. 

"Alby." Letter 42. 

XXXI. '^A young medical student, doctor at a hospital, 
was attacked by some trouble in his throat, which was not 
thought of much consequence. One evening he went to his 
room, not feeling more sick than usual. He lay down, and 
it is supposed went to sleep. In the small hours of the night 
a Sister of Charity, who was a nurse in the hospital, was 
aroused by a sharp knocking on her door. She got up. at 
once, and the raps becoming more and more persistent, 
she rushed to the door, but saw no one. She inquired. No 
one else had heard anything. In the morning, at the usual 
hour for rising, the man who had the room next to that of 
the young student, being uneasy because he did not hear 
him move, went into his chamber, and found him lying dead, 
his hands clasped tightly round his throat. He had died of 
a hemorrhage. 

'* The nun then understood the rapping at her door. She 
thought it probable that the poor man dying had thought 
of her, for they knew each other well. If she had been 
near him her help might have saved him. 

*^If you publish this, I beg you to change my name and the 
name of the town where it took place, for our people are all 
'Jin de Steele/ and they mock at everything. 

Letter 43. "A. C.^^ 

80 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMTJNICATIOFS 

XXXIL " In 1887 my grandmother came to live with my 
parents. She was then eighty. I was twelve, and I went 
iaily in company with one of my friends^ two years older 
than myself, to the commnnial school in the Euo Bonlard, at 
?'aris. My grandmotlier was poorly, but nothiug made ns 
suspect that her death was near, I may add that my friend 
often came to onr house, and that we lived within ten min- 

.utea' walk of each other, 

^ One morning when I woke up, about seven o'clock, my 

' mother told me that my grandmother had died about an hour 
before. It was naturally decided that that day I should not 
go to school. My father, when at nine o'clock he went to the 
Hotel de Ville, where he was employed, passed by the school- 
house, and went in to tell the master of the misfortune that 
had befallen us. He replied that he knew it already, for mj 
friend, when he came, told him that mj grandmother had 
died that morning at six o'clock. No communication had 
taken place between our house and that of my friend, nor be- 

itween our house and the school. Such ia the fact. It is in- 
lisputable, and I am ready to bear witness to it in any legal way. 
'Now for the explanation, given to us the next day or the 
day after by my school-fellow* He woke up in the night 
and saw beside him his yoang sister who had died some years 
before. She came into his chamber, holding my grand- 
aother by the hand, who said to him: ^To-morrow at six 

lo'clock 1 shall be no longer in this world,* Now did he 
hear this ? Was he exact and truthful in what he reported ? 
I cannot telL Bnt what is certain is that, on the faith of 
this vision, he told our school-master in the most precise way 
a fact that he could not possibly have presaged or known 
for certain. 

"Sixth Section of thelililitflry Admin istratioD^ CljSlons-sur-Mame." 
Letter 44 



XXXIIL '*0n January S2, 1893, 1 was summoned by a de- 
spatch to my aunt, who was eighty-two years old, and had 
been ill lor some days. 

8i 



THE UNKNOWN 

** When I arrived I found my dear aunt dying, and she 
conld hardly speak. I sat down by her bed, not meaning to 
leave her until all was over. About ten o^clock at night I 
was awake, sitting in an armchair near her, when I heard her 
call in a surprisingly loud voice, ^ Lucie I Lucie! Lucie I' I 
got up quickly, and found that my aunt had lost conscious- 
ness, and I heard the death-rattle. Ten minutes after she 
was no more. 

'^ Lucie was another niece of my aunt, and her god-daugh- 
ter, who had not come to see her as often as she thought she 
ought to have done, and she had complained of this to her 
sick-nurse several times. 

*' The next day I said to my cousin Lucie : * You must 
have been surprised at receiving a despatch telling you of 
the death of our aunt.' *No,' she said, *I was expecting it. 
Just imagine ; last night about ten, when I was in a deep 
sleep, I suddenly woke xr^y hearing my aunt call, '^ Lucie/ 
Lucie/ Lucie/" I did not go to sleep again all night.' 

'^ This is a fact. I assure you it is quite exact, and I beg 
you, if you publish it, only to put my initials, for the town 
in which I live has a population made up of people who are 
frivolous, ignorant, or else bigoted hypocrites. 

Letter 47. "P. L. B.'' 

XXXIV. " I had an uncle who once served with the Zou- 
aves. His captain was very fond of him at one time, but it 
chanced that their intimacy at last ceased. Several years 
after, one morning lying awake in bed, my uncle had a dis- 
tinct impression that he saw his captain enter, come up to the 
foot of the bed, look at him for a moment without speaking, 
then turn and disappear. My uncle got up and questioned 
everybody in the house, but no one had seen anything. 
Some days after he heard of the death of his captain, on that 
very day. Did he verify the hoar of his death and the hour 
of the vision ? I cannot tell. 

"Eugene Eoyer, 
" Druggist to the First Class of the High School in Paris< 
* ' La Pert6.Milon. ( Aisne. )" 
Letter 49. 
82 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

XXXV. "I can tell you an authentic fact which I had from 
[)ne of the witnesses* Here it is : Ten or twelve monks, sit- 
fcing in a halt of their own honse, were conferring together, 
Juddenly the shutter of one of the windows was violently 
closed with a horrible sound of creaking* At the same mo- 
ment one of them (or several — I don't remember which) got 
up and cried aloud, ^A misfortune has fallen on us — our 
superior is deadF The superior was then at the mother- 
house at some distance. The nest day the monks received 
fche fatal news. Their superior had died at the very hour 
uJie7i the slmtter wm so suddenly closed* This story has al- 
ways greatly puzzled me,' 

" JoAKis Janvier, 
" Aazy-le-Duc, near Narcigny (SaOne-et-Loire)." 
Letter 53. 

XXX VL '^A year and a half ago my father, a cousin living 
with ns^ and my sister were talking together in our diuiug- 
[)om. They were alone in the room (uo one else was pres- 
it) when they suddenly heard the piano being played in the 
arlor; Much surprised, my sister picked up the lamp and 
"went into the parlor, where she distinctly saw several of the 
keys put down, as if struck hy somebody ; they made sounds 
and rose again.'' She came back and told the others what she 
had seen. They all laughed at first at her story, saying a 
mouse had something to do with it ; but as she had excellent 
eight, and was not in the least superstitious, they began to 
think the thing was strange* 

*^ A week later came a letter from New York which told of 
the death of an old uncle who lived there. But what was 

(lore extraordinary, three days after the arrival of this letter 
he piano began to play again, and, as it had done the first 
time, it anuounced a death, that of our annt, who died a 
aweek after her husband. 

" This aunt and uncle had been a most united couple, and 
iiey had kept up their attachment for all their French rela- 



^It re&emblea cases L, II., and XI Y. 

j ^M. YictorlGD Sardou told mc that he hud once knowrt a similar thing. 

83 



THE UNKNOWN 

tions and for their Jnra, the department from whence they 
came. The piano has never since played of itself. Those 
who saw this scene will certify to the truth of what I have 
said, if you wish it. We live in the country, near Neuch&tel, 
and I assure you that no one considers us nervous. 

''Edourd Paris, 

" Artist, near Neuch&tel, Switzerland/' 

Letter 54. 

XXXVII. ''I was finishing, in 1885, my last year's service at 
the arsenal of Tarbes, where I was working as a blacksmith. 
Early in the night of the 20th of May I was awakened by a 
light * which flashed before my eyes. I looked up, and saw at 
the foot of my bed, on my left hand, a shining disk, whose 
light, not very bright, resembled that of a night-lamp. 
Without seeing any figure, without hearing any noise, there 
came into my mind the persuasion that I had before me one 
of my cousins who lived at Langon, and who was very ill. 
After a few seconds the vision disappeared, and I found my- 
self sitting on my bed. * You simpleton,' I said, as I caught 
hold of myself, * it was nothing but a nightmare.' Next day, 
as usual, I went to the shop, and there, at half -past eight, I 
received a despatch telling me of my cousin's death about 
one o'clock at night. I asked leave to be away three days 
that I might see him once more. We had been brought up 
together, and we loved one another like brothers. 

"I told my uncle Lepaye when I arrived what I have here 
written ; I also told his wife — my god-mother. They were 
the father and mother of the dead man ; they are still living, 
and can, if necessary, bear witness to the truth of what I am 
telling you, without 'arranging the details,' as you blame 
some of your correspondents for doing. 

"Eloi Descamps. 
" At Bommes in the Gironde." 

Letter 56. 

XXXVIII. ''A few days before July 24, 1895, I had just 

' Observe the impression made upon the optic Derve, natural in a black- 
smith accustomed to beat out red-hot iron on an anvil. 

84 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

indressed myself aad was standing near my bed ; my lius- 
ri>and was in his dressing-room at the moment- I saw, being 
quite awake, the aged face of my grandmother— miicli more 
^wrinkled than usaal, and pale as a head of death. It lasted 
10 longer than a flash of lightning, but I was sorely troubled, 
I said nothing about it at the moment — such things always 
seem absurd to those to whom they are told; but the next 
morning my mother sent me word that my grandmother had 
lad a stroke of paralysis which left her without consciousness. 
^Bhe died a few days after. I did not note whether the time 
of her stroke corresponded exactly with that of my vision. 
I "I am a fervent Catholic, thirty-five years old, wife of a 

iawyer ; all that treats of things beyond this life interests me 
preatly. But I beg you not to publish my name, for in the 
;own in which I live there are light-minded persons who care 
^or notbiog hut frivolities. L. M." 

Letter ©3. 
XXXIX. *' In January, 1888, 1 lost my grandmother* She 
lad called her children round her to bid them a last adieu. 
All were present at the moment of her death except one of 
my aunts who is still a nun in Brazil. My grandmother 
poke of her regret that she could not see this daughter. 
lamma was charged to send her the sad news. Two months 
later she received a letter from my aunt which told her that 
one evening just as she had gone to rest she heard steps 
going round her bed. She turned, bat saw nothing ; sud- 
denly the curtains opened, and she felt, as it were, a hand 
laid upon her. She was alone in her room and had a light. 
Iler first thought was that one of her relations must be dead, 
and she began at once to pray for his soul. She wrote down 
the date, the day, and the hour, and it was precisely at the 
time her mother died that she received this impression, 

'VBcliool-miatresa at Saint Genix-sur, Guiers, Savoy." 
Letter 68. 



XL. *^My father at one time employed a person named De 
^antrao, who came from Agneaux near Saint Lo. He was 

85 



THE UNKNOWN 

an excellent fellow, kindly and jovial, and liked to play 
tricks on the lads of the village. Many now remember jokes 
played on them for which they would have liked to hang 
him. 

" In spite of this, every one was fond of him, because of his 
pleasant humor. We all loved him. The poor fellow, who 
had served seven years in the naval brigade in Senegal had 
brought home malarial fever, and was subject to a renewal of 
it. He was aneBmic, and he became consumptive. My fa- 
ther, who was much attached to him, took care of him in our 
house for some months. But De Pantrac growing worse, he 
was forced to take to his bed, and my father obtained his ad- 
mission to the hospital at Granville. There he remained 
under the doctor's care three months, and then he died. 

"Every Sunday regularly my father went to see him, to 
comfort him and to carry him something nice to eat. One 
Monday, the day after one of these visits, when he had found 
the sick man apparently much better, my father and mother 
were both suddenly awakened by a violent blow struck on 
the head-board of their bed. 

" ' What's the matter ?' cried my mother, greatly terrified. 
*Did you hear some one knocking on the bed?' My father, 
not wishing to seem frightened, although he had been roused 
from his sleep by the same noise, got up, lit the lamp^ and 
looked at the clock. ' Tiens!* he said. *I have a presenti- 
ment. I think poor Pantrac is dead. He always told me he 
would warn me.' As soon as it was day my father set out for 
Granville. When he reached the hospital he asked to see, 
though it was so early, the man of the name of Pantrac. 
They told him he had died at two o'clock that morning, ex- 
actly the time when my father had been so suddenly awak- 
ened. 

**I have told this story many times. I never found any 
hearers but sceptics, or men disposed to consider me the vic- 
tim of superstition. I even at one time said to my parents, 
^ It was only a coincidence, a nightmare — something of the 
kind.' But my father always answered, *No, I was not 
dreaming, nor your mother either.' 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



*' The fact is not to be disputed. Ob, if you oiily coold by 
lis inquiry throw a little light upon these wondrous prob- 

Smsl P. BOUCHAHD, 

*' Postmaster at Granville (Meurthe)." 
Letter 71, 

XLI. **^My father, when he waa twenty years old, found 
imself alone in a house where soon after midnight there was 
terrible racket in one of the rooms j then the front door 
opened with great noise. My father, who slept mi premier, 
oke with a starts and at the same time his father^ who was 
n the ground floor, called out to know if he was in hia room 
or if be had gone down into the yard, and why be bad made 
such a noise. My father made baste to go down-stairs, 
Yehemently expressing hia astonishment at what had hap- 
pened. Father and son not being able to make anything out 
!pf itj shut the front door, bolted it, and went back to bed. 
Bat very soon the same thing happened again, and papa and 
grandpapa once more met at the front door, which was wide 
open. They shut it very carefully and again went back to 
ped. A third time the same thing occurred. Then they 
plosed the door and tied it with a stout rope. The rest of 
the night passed undisturbed. 

'* Some time after a letter arrived telling of the death of a 
brother of my grandfather, who had settled in America. 
The date of his death coincided with that of the events men- 
tioned, only this brother had died about one o'clock in the 
afternoon, 

'* Afterwards we heard that he had had a strong desire to 
see once more his relatives in Alsace, and when those besido 
him thought him dead he suddenly opened his eyes, exclaim- 
ing : ^I have Just made a long Journey. I have been to see 
L my brother at Brumath,' And then he died. 

^^^F Letter 

J^^ XLIL '' Personally I have no telepathic phenomenon to 
record for you; but the day before yesterday several persons 
were speaking at my house of your learned researches. A 

87 



THE UNKNOWN 

person whose word may be taken for truth, told us that a 
person attending on his mother in her last moments, had, just 
before she died, sprinkled a good deal of eau de Cologne 
oyer her. At the same moment a sister of the man who told 
me this, who was a hundred and ninety miles away, felt a sud- 
den conviction that her mother was dead, and distinctly per- 
ceived a strong smell of eau de Cologne, although no bottle 
of that perfume had been near her. This lady knew that her 
mother was seriously ill. 

'* Octave Marais, 

" Formerly head of the Bar at Rouen." 

Letter 80. 

XLIII. '*0n the 19th of December, 1898, I had a very 
curious experience. The facts I am about to relate can be 
testified to by all my friends and by my household, for they 
made on many a deep impression. 

''My husband was away at the time ; he left on the 19th for 
a short journey. I took the eldest of my three children into 
my chamber. He was a boy seven years old. The bolts of all 
the doors were safe. I am easily frightened, and our house is 
rather lonely. At three o'clock in the morniug I woke up, 
and my boy too. We heard steps, distinct but cautious, going 
towards the door of the children's chamber, and then coming 
towards mine. At the same time the latch of the children's 
door was lifted, but the door was locked and it did not open. 
I jumped out of bed and called out, 'Anna (the name of the 
nurse), is that you ?' There was no answer. I went back to 
bed, sure that Anna had got up in the night for some reason. 
Great was my fright when at breakfast I learned that she had 
never been out of bed. 

" Two days later I heard of the death of a near relative of 
certain persons who had hired rooms in our house. She died 
on the 19th, at eleven o'clock at night. 

"Jeanne Banaud d'Eberlb." 
Letter 88. 

XLIV. " This is the story that I heard told to Madame 
la Marquise de about five years ago, when I was tutor 



OP TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



to her Bon. The Marqaiae was dining one day with one of 

her friends in Paria. The gtiests were many, and alt were 

^very gay, so that their emotion was great when suddenly a 

^Bonng girl among them uttered a lood scream and fell back 

^Bi her chair, sobbing bitterly. Everybody rushed to her re- 

^Hef. 'There! there!' she cried, pointing to a glass door 

which led into the dinning-room. ^My mother has appeared 

to me ! My mother is dead!' In vain they tried to calm her 

and to chase this terrible suspicion from her mind* 

"A very uncomfort4ible feeling soon spread among the 
giiests* Twenty minutes after there was a ring at the front 
door. Some one had come to take home Mademoiselle X,, 
and told the servants that a great misfortune had befallen 

iher* Her mother had died suddenly. 
*'E. Lemoissiox, 
■ '* Professor at the College of Vire," 

■ Letter 94. 

I XLV, ''One of my relations having gone into the country 
Ri business, the first night that she slept in her chamber she 
fcund her bed shaken and uplifted by some nnknown agency, 
|ifc was eleven o'clock at night ; she lib a candle, and saw in t!ie 
middle of her room a very big dog, with his eyes fixed on 
her* After a few moments ho disappeared, jumping throngh 
one of the window panes without leaving any trace of his pas- 
sage. She left early the next morning, feeling sure that some 
misfortune had befallen in her home, and she learned on 
reaching it that M. X., an officer of the array, conscious of 
being the victim of an incurable malady, had committed 
suicide the night before at eleven o'clock* This gentleman 
I had asked her to let him come to her honso to be taken care 
of, and when she refused ho had said to himself, apparently : 
'Then there is nothing more lor mo to do but to end my life/ 
"The person who told me this saw a direct relation between 
the strange appearance of the dog in the lady^s room and tlie 
death that happened at the same hour on the same evening. 

" ClEirCTAU, 

* 9 Rue de laPtix, Strasbourg." 

Letter 98. 




THE UNKNOWN 

XLVI. " My father, who was born in 1805, at Saint Lft 
d'Ourville near Port Bail (Manthe), was a boarder in the 
religious seminary of Saint Sauveur-le-Vicomte, six miles 
from his birthplace. He had been the favorite son of his 
father, who left him one-fourth more of his property than he 
gave to his other children — very fortunately, for the younger 
son would soon have squandered his inheritance. 

'^ It is not, therefore, extraordinary that this father, dying 
suddenly (as we all do in our family), thought of this son, a 
good lad, whom he tenderly loved, and who was not present 
to receive his last sigh. 

" Now this thought of the dying man must have traversed 
the six miles that separated him from his son, for that son, 
during the night — at two o'clock — saw his father, who called to 
him to come to him for he was dying. He rushed to awaken 
the superior, and implored him to grant him leave to go 
home. 

" The superior refused, telling the lad of fifteen that there 
were forests to pass through, and that it was not safe to 
travel in the night, but that he might go as soon as it was 
morning. 

'* Alas ! it was too late ; the poor fellow did not reach home 
until his father had died, precisely at the hour of the night 
when he had heard himself called. 

"Angeline Dessoulle.'^ 

XLVII. " On the night of the 19th or 20th of May, a little 
before eleven o'clock, I had not yet gone to sleep. My wife, 
by my side, was sound asleep, when I very distinctly heard a 
noise as if something heavy had fallen on the floor of the 
room above me. My wife started up and said : ^ What was 
that ?' ^ It must be a loaf of bread that has fallen,' I an- 
swered, for in the room above us were stored all the loaves 
taken from the oven. 

*' While I was speaking there was another noise like the first, 
and then a third, still louder. I got up at once, lit a light, 
and mounting the wooden stairs which led up to the garret I 
found everything in order ; the loaves were all in their 

90 



>F TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



places. A terrible presentiment took possession of me touch- 
ing my brother Jean, who was ill, but I would not let it be 
seen, and when my wife asked me what had caused such 
strange noises I replied, not wiahing to alarm her, for I 
knew she was very timid : ' Some loaves that slipped down 
on the floor.' The next day great was my stupefaction fit 
seeing my sister, who then Hved at Nantes, come in in a 
state of great excitement to tell me that about eleven o'clock 
she had heard a strange noise proceeding from her table, and, 
en being quite awake, a terrible commotion in her big 
oset. I then led her into the kitchen and said : ^ Jean is 
dead/ ' Yes/ she answered, ' it was he.' 

"A month later we learned that onr dear Jean had died in 
hospital at Birkadere in Algeria, on the night of the 19th 
and 20th of May.* 

r'^ Mariits Mariage. 
•'AtRemoulin(GQrd)/' Letter 104. 
XLVni. " My mother had two uncles who were priests ; 
one was a missionary in China, the other a curi in Brittany. 
They had one sister, an old woman who lived in the Vosges, 
" One day this person was busy in her kitchen preparing the 
family repast, when the door opened and she saw on the 
threshold her brother the missionary, from whom she had 
been separated for many years, *It'S brother Francois V 
^^le cried, and she ran to him to embrace him, but at the 
^^onient when she should have reached him he disappeared, 
which frightened her terribly. 

*' On the same day, at the same honr, the other brother, who 
was a cure in Brittany, was reading his breviary when he 
heard the voice of brother Francois saying to him: ' Brother, 
I am about to die/ A moment after he spoke again : 
* Brother, I am dying,' and then, *I am dead.' 

** Some months later they received news of the death of the 
missionary, which happened on the very day when they 
received these strange warnings.* 



' Two witnesses remote from each other impressed separately. 
• A aimilar remarkable case. 

91 



THE UNKNOWN 

'^ I send you this narrative because it seems to me to possess 
all possible guarantees for its authenticity. It was related 
to me by my mother and by one of my aunts separately ; 
they had it from the very people to whom it happened, their 
uncle, a respectable priest, and their aunt, an excellent 
woman, neither of whom could have invented such a story 
for the pleasure of hoaxing the public. As to believing it 
an hallucination it seems incredible that both brother and 
sister should have had one to the same purpose, one in the 
East, the other in the West of France, at the same moment. 
I wish here to assure you of my own perfect honesty. What 
object could I have in deceiving you ? 

"MaKie Labdet. 

" Champ-le-Duc (Vosges).** 

Letter 108. 

XLIX. "You say in an article on telepathic manifesta- 
tions that 'the value of facts is increased by their num- 
ber,^ and this emboldens me to send you one that is very 
strange. It did not happen recently, nor did I have any- 
thing to do with it, though I can guarantee its authenticity, 
because of the truthfulness, the common sense, and the clear 
intelligence of the person to whom it happened. About 
1822 or 1823 the eldest son of my grandparents was pursuing 
his studies at Strasbourg. The last news they had from him 
was good, and nothing made them uneasy on his account. 
It is true that at this period, when twenty-five miles seemed 
a long journey, communication with Strasbourg was not very 
frequent, nor, for that matter, was news. 

"One day, when my grandmother was looking at a portrait 
in oil of her absent son, she fancied she saw the canvas move 
towards her, and at the same moment she heard her son's 
voice say distinctly : * Mamma ! Mamma ! ' 

" The vision was so distinct that she stretched out her arms 
with an agonized cry of ' Edouard ! ' 

" In vain my grandfather assured her that Edouard was 
quite well, and that if he had been sick they would have 
had notice. He said she had had an hallucination, that she 
had been dreaming, though awake, etc. But my grandmother 

92 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



still remained under the impression of an impending mis- 
fortune. 

**The next day a messenger arrived from Strasbourg to 
announce the death of the young man. 

** What illness could have carried him off in those few 
hours? I do not remember, I only know that he died at the 
very hour when his mother was looking at his portrait, and 
that as he died he had twice called ^ Mamma ! Mamma V 

*' I own myself to be an incredoloua person j but to this I 

bow. I send my name, but only for yourself, that yon may 

be certified that this is not a fable. IS. 8. 

•• Vosgea Atmex^es." 

Letter 121, 

L* '* An absolntely authentic thing of the kind for which 
you ask occurred in mj own family. I do not know in what 
year, but here are the facts as my mother and grandmother 
told them to me : 

*' When the latter was a young girl ehe lived at the seaport 
town of Envaux, a little place near Saintes^ and she had a 
brother^ Leopold Drouillard^ who was a sailor. 

"Another brother, who also lived at EnYaux, went into a 
loft at the bottom of a court to get some hay for hia cattle. 
He ran back to the house a moment after, pale and trem- 
bling, crying, ^ Mamma ! I have just seen my brother Leopold 
in the loft.' They laughed at him, and thought no more of 
it, when, in December of the same year, they received news 
that in June Leopokl Dronillard had died in Havana. It 
was in June that his brother had had the vision, 

"Such is the story as my mother told it, and my grand- 
mother. A brother of the latter is living still, and one of 
his sisters. They could confirm what I have told you. 

"F^RAl^D Urtice. 
•'TonnftyCharente (Char«Dte Inferietire)/* 
Letter 128. 

LL A. "In 1880 my brother-in-law, J* B. Tuiilot, was in 
! Algiers, where he had been summoned on business. One 
t night he was suddenly awakened without any apparent 

93 



THE UNKNOWN 

cause, and, having opened his eyes, he saw distinctly, by the 
light of the night lamp which lit his room, one of his friends 
named Morillon, who lived in the town of Oreil, in the Oise, 
standing at the foot of his bed and looking sadly at him. . . . 
The apparation lasted only a few moments. At once it was 
borne in upon him that this intimate friend — in perfectly 
good health at the time of their recent separation — was 
dead. He wrote to his home, and soon learned that his 
friend Morillon had died on the san^e night and at the same 
hour when he had seen the vision. 

B. " I had occasion, in 1896, to meet at a friend's house a 
M. Contamine, a druggist at Commentry (AUier), who re- 
tailed in my presence the following facts, of which he guar- 
anteed the authenticity, and which he could not relate to ns 
without visible emotion. Seated one day in his chamber before 
a looking-glass, putting on his boots, he distinctly saw in 
the glass a door open behind him, and one of his intimate 
friends enter his chamber. He was in evening costume, 
dressed very carefully. M. Contamine turned round to 
shake hands with him, when, to his stupefaction, he saw 
no one in his room. He ran out at once, ^nd called to 
the servant, who happened to be on the staircase. * Did you 
meet M. X. . . . who has just gone out of my room. Where 
is he ?' 'I have seen no one, I assure you, sir.' * Non- 
sense ! he left my room this very minute.' ' I am perfectly 
certain that nobody either went up or down the stairs.' M. 
Contamine, much impressed and greatly puzzled, began to 
apprehend some impending misfortune. He at once made 
inquiries and learned that his friend, having accidentally 
killed a man, and, wishing to escape judicial inquiries into 
the accident,. AacZ committed suicide at the exact hour when 
he appeared to M. Contamine and in tJie same clothes his 
friend had seen in his reflection in the glass. 

*^B0ULN0IS, 
*' Schoolmaster at St. Mayence." 
Letter 184. 

LIII. " On October 23, 1870, at five o'clock in the morning, 
I lay fast asleep, and I was not dreaming, when, suddenly, I 

94 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

felt on my left cheek a soft kiss given very tenderly. I 
cried at once^ ' Mamma V 

'' That same evening we got a despatch telling us that my 
beloved mother was dead. 

'^ It made so deep an impression upon me that I can never 
forget it. 

" If the perfect veracity of this fact can be of any use to 
yon^ I shall be most happy to have contributed, though only 
in so slight a way, to your researches, of which I appreciate 
the great value. 

" P. S. — My mother died at Gien, and I was at Eochefort. 
'' Mademoiselle Marie Durand. 

" Bochefort, sur-mer. (Gharente Inferleure.)" 
Letter 140. 

LrV. A. " Fifty years ago, my aunt, who was a Sister of 
Charity, and then twenty years of age, was in the common 
dormitory (where I saw her again this year), and was startled 
by a great noise like hogsheads being rolled into the court- 
yard. She opened the window quickly, but saw nothing. 
Having closed the window, she prepared for bed, but the 
noise continued so loud that she again opened it, to the 
great astonishment of her room-mates, who heard nothing. 
A week after this she heard of her mother's death. It was 
eight o'clock in the evening when she expired, calling on her 
two daughters to come to her. It is curious that the 
other daughter, who was also in the convent, heard nothing. 

B. ''This same aunt was awakened long after by what 
seemed the strokes of a small hammer on a table near her 
bed. Fear at first deprived her of speech, but the eight 
sisters who also slept in the dormitory were awakened by the 
rapping. They got up, and three times during the night satis- 
fied themselves that the noise proceeded from my aunt's 
table. Three sisters who were old companions of my aunt 
assured me they had witnessed this phenomenon. 

'* There was no coincidence of any death. 

"C. OouRT:gs. 
" Marmande." 

Letter 141. 
95 



THE UNKNOWN 

LVI. A. ^'My nncle Joseph, my father's brother, was 
walking in his garden about ten o'clock in the morning when 
he saw over a hawthorn hedge his brother-in-law on horse- 
back coming up the road. 

** Joseph went at once into the house to tell his wife that her 
sister's husband was coming, and to be ready to meet him. 
In vain he looked for him, but in the evening came an ex-p 
press bringing news of the sudden death of this man, who 
had been struck with apoplexy that morning about twenty- 
three miles away, and had fallen from his horse. 

B. " About forty years ago, when I was thirty, and collector 
of contributions in Morbihan, as I was taking coffee with 
two friends, one day, after dinner, about seven o'clock, we all 
three heard a noise as if five-franc pieces were jingling in a 
drawer. I ran to my office, which was separated by a slight 
partition from the room where we were sitting, but I could 
find no cause for the noise. 

" That evening one of my brothers died in Paris. 

'' Du QUILLIOU, 
*• Mayor of Lanhelin (Ile-et-Vilaioe)." 
Letter 142. 

LVIII. " My father, a musical composer, lived at Lyons, 
his native city, with his young wife and little girl. My pa- 
ternal grandparents also lived at Lyons, about half an hour's 
walk from their son. 

"It was the 28th of August, at eight o'clock in the 
morning. My father was making his toilet (he was shaving 
himself before a window), when he heard his name twice 
called loudly,* ^ Andr6 ! Andr6 !' He turned, but saw no one. 
Then he went into the next room, the door of which was 
open, where he found my mother sitting quietly. He said 
to her, 'Did you call me?' 'No,' replied my mother, 
*but why do you look so startled?' Then my father told 
her how he had heard himself called loudly, and how this 
call, repeated more than once, had affected him. 

' Calls heard io cases XVI., XXII., XXV., XXVII., XXXHL 

96 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

**He finished his toilet^ and a fe^ minutes after some one 
came to tell him that his father had died so suddenly that 
there had been no time to summon him to his deathbed. 
He had asked for his son as he was dying, but those about 
him did not think he was in any danger, and therefore had 
not sent for the son. 

*^He died at 8 a.m., exactly at the moment when my father 
^ had heard himself called so urgently. 

^Observe that my father had ]iad no suspicion that my 
randfather was in ill health. The eyening before he had 
Pseen himj d>nd thought he was perfectly well. 

**My mother, who witnessed my father's emotion, bnt who 
had not heard the call, has just told me the story for the 
hundredth time, and it is she who lias dictated what I am 
sending you, bnt I beg you not to give our names to the 
public. 

LLX. ''My friend, Ferdinand S., when he was about six- 
Ben, was pursuing his mnsical studies in Paris under the di- 
' rection of the composer, Hippolyte Monpon* 

*^One day, in his Btodenta' chamber, he, being perfectly 
awake, had a clear vision of his father, exactly as if he were 
standing there. The vision lasted but a moment. 

"My friend had no reason whatever to expect his father's 
death. Yet he, who was by profession a tuner at Tours, had 
met with a terrible accident. In assisting to take a piano 
up a staircase, it had fallen on his body and crushed him, so 
that death ensued. 

" Now, after he received this news, Ferdinand could well 
understand how the moment when he had seen the apparition 
coincided with that of his father^s death. 

^'E. Lep. 
**9 Place de la Cathedrale, Tours/' 

Letter 156. 



LXL *' One of my brothers, when a pupil in rhetoric in a 
Congregationalist college, one night could not close his eyea^ 
As soon as the house was awake he went to find the snperior 
G 97 



THE UNKNOWN 

of the college^ and told him^ all in tears^ ' I do not know 

what it may be^ but I am sure some great misfortune has 

happened at home/ 

^* The superior said this was all childishness and . . . Two 

hours after our horse was at the gate of the college^ sent to 

bring my brother home. Our father had died suddenly in 

the night. Now^ it was impossible that my brother^ a boarder 

in the college, could have heard of this. The college was 

more than seven miles distant from his home.^ 

''Gaston Savoye. 
'*Bailleul(Nord)." 

Letter 164. 

LXII. " One of my aunts was instructress in a commune of 
Alsace, and saw much of the sister of M. le Cur6. One even- 
ing, as my aunt was making ready to go to bed, she heard 
the door-bell ring twice. My aunt went down and asked 
who was there. There was no answer. She opened the 
door. There was no one. It could not have been some one 
passing who had pulled the bell-rope, for to get at it it was 
necessary to come into the passage and to ascend several steps 
of the stairs. • 

** The next morning she heard that M. le Curb's sister had 
died suddenly in the night, just about at the moment when 
she had heard the bell ring. " K. E. D aul. 

"NeuvesMaisona." Letter 169. 

LXIII. '' One of my friends told me two years ago what a 
fright he had had on a certain night when he was reading in 
bed. 

" Suddenly the curtains were violently shaken; at the same 
moment he heard a plaintive cry and steps upon the floor be- 
side him. His wife, who was awake, told me she also heard 
the noise. The next day they heard of the death of one of 
their friends who lived a few miles from them. 

''A. MORISOT. 
"41 Rue du Chateau, Lyons." 

Letter 171. 

> Similar to that mentioned in XLVI. 
98 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNl 



LXIV. " Ocir family is connected with that of General Ber- 
traud, Tvho was Napoleon^s companion during his exile at 
St, Helena. My mother had from child!] ood been very inti- 
mate with his daoghter, Hortense Berfcrand, who married M, 
Amadee Thayer, who died a senator of the Second Empire^ I 
think, in 1866. 

"In 1843 Madame Thayer, being in ill health, was sent to 
Madeira* Her father^ General Bertrand, was at Chateau roux. 
He came to Paris in the month of January, 1844, for a few 
days. He left at the end of the month hy the mail-coach. 
The weather was yery cold. On reaching Chateauroux he 
was attacked by a congestion of the luugs, and died on the 
29th of January, 

" On the same day^ January JJOth^ Madame Thayer, in com- 
pany with her hnsband and several friends who had accom- 
panied her to Madeira, was quietly conversing, not thinking 
of any harm likely to happen to the dear ones she had left in 
France, Suddenly she turned pale, gave a scream, burst into 
tears, and cried, 'Oh! my father is deadT Those present 
tried to calm her. They pointed out that her last letters 
were of recent date and had nothing but good news in them, 
and that there was no cause to anticipate misfortune. She 
persisted in what she said, and noted down the day and hour. 

^* At this time there were no telegraphs and very few rail- 
roads. It took more than a month for letters from France 
to reach Madeira. The first mail that arrived brought news 
of the death of General Bertrand on January 19th, the very 

»day and hour when his daughter had received her revelation. 
f "All the witnesses of this scene and Madame Thayer her- 
self are dead now, but the thing was known to all our family 
and to all the relations and connections of M. and Madame 
Thayer. I have heard it often told by one of our cousins^ 

L Madame Tliayer, a very intimate friend* Possibly yon might 
jet my evidence corroborated by Pt-re Lndovic, a Capuchin 
in Paris, who was for years the confessor of Madame Thayer 
and who must have known the fact. I do not wish my name 
to be published. M. B. G. 

* Paris." Letter 1T3. 

m 



THE UNKNOWN 

LXV. ''Two years ago my brother, who was a designer, 
undertook a journey of exploration in Africa, accompanying 
the mission of M. Bouchamps. I had had no news from him 
for a long time, when one night, suddenly awakening, I saw 
my brother pierced hy the spear of a savage. 

" This made so deep an impression on me that I did not 
go to sleep again that night, and I was haunted for several 
weeks by the vision. 

'' Some weeks later I received news of the death of my 
brother in Abyssinia, killed by a spear-thrust by an Abys- 
sinian. The fact coincided with my vision, but unhappily I 
had omitted to set down the exact date. However, I am 
certain that the vision came to me in November. 

"A. Nyffeley-Potter. 

"Kiochberg." Letter 175. 

LXVI. "I can certify to you the truth of the following fact 
which occurred in a little town in the department of the 
Var : My mother was sitting in a room in the lower story of 
her house, either knitting or sewing, when suddenly she saw 
before her her eldest brother, who lived in a village in the 
arrondissement of Toulon, about twenty-five miles distant. 
Her brother, whom she recognized perfectly, said ' Adieu,' 
and disappeared. My mother much excited, hastened to her 
husband and cried, ' My brother has just died V She knew 
he was ill. 

"The next day or the day after, news reached them of the 
decease of my uncle, which happened in the afternoon, pre- 
cisely at the time of the apparition. There were no telegraphs 
in those days. The news had been sent by letter to Aix. 

" Utte. 
"Aix." Letter 186. 

LXVII. " Here is a fact of which I can guarantee the exact 
veracity. 

" On December 21, 1891, 1 received a letter telling me that 
my father was very sick and wanted to see me. As the letter 
did not seem to me very alarming, I was not much frightened 
by it, but I went to the station at Bedon to take the train at 

100 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

4.4'i in tlie Qveniiig* I wag a little bef^rrt3 timej and was walk- 
ing tip and down the waiting-room, tlilqldiig of pretty much 
nothing, when suddenly I felfc ill and very d.i'a^y. I could not 
Bee, and I had violent ringing in my ears. The attack had 
Pbeen so sudden that I remained standing nprigliiir«ud motion- 
leas in the middle of the waiting-room. The leisure only 
ilasted two or three minutes, for people present were;* only 
ibeginning to perceive it when I came to myself. And biw*e 
Domes in the extraordinary part of the atory. At the vef y 
moment when I began to see again and to rally my senses,- 
and before I had recognized anybody in the room, the figure 
of my father appeared and disappeared, and at the same 
moment the thought came to me— was borne in upon me — 
that I could not refrain from expressing it in those words: 
*My father is now dying/ 

*'I had that idea fixed in my head all night as I travelled 
onward. I tried to make myself entertain another conviction, 
I arrived at my home, which was in the Department of La 
Charente, about six ia the morning. There they told me that 
my father had died at six o'clock the evening before. About 
an honr before his death he had several times earnestly asked 
for me, and my absence caused him to shed tears. This coin- 
cided with the moment I bad seen his apparition in the Eedon 
station. I was deeply impressed by it, and have never ceased 
to remember it. P. Busserolle, 

•*8chool-master at La Dominekis, near Fougeray (Ile-et-Vilaine)." 
Letter 235. 

LXVIIL "It has twice in my life happened to me to 
experience a distinct impression to have near me a person 
who was absent, and to mark the exact hour at which this 
occurred. Both times the impression received was found to 
coincide within five minutes with the death of a person whom 
I knew to be ill, but who I had no idea was so near his end. 

" These two striking cases of telepathy have been reported in 
the journal of the Psychical Society in London, of whichlhave 
the honor to be an associate member. Aug. Glardon, 

*'Man of Letters sit Tour de FmU, Vuud., Swilzerland." 
Letter 237. 
101 



TH?' UlTKNOWN 

LXIX. "On the 2Sltl^ of October, 1869, our family had all 
met in the salle h^^jibi^er after supper (the thing occurred at 
the Ch&teau de'Vtiidtix, near Caen, my father's house). About 
nine o'clock, in*i;he evening we heard a noise in the next 
room. T^Kift *Boise was exactly what a heavy picture would 
make inr Jailing, and such was our first impression. We 
loQke3»at all the picture-frames in our rooms. Nothing had 
rij^b^df. My mother at once made a note of the hour. 
'.,//^A few days after we received a newspaper notice of the 
. . 'death of my mother's brother at the military hospital at 
Calais, of typhoid fever, on October 29, 1869, at nine o'clock 
in the evening. Anatole de Jackson. 

"Cheux(Calva(lor)/' 

Letter 248. 

LXX. ** A lady of my acquaintance who has a well-balanced 
mind, and is serious and sensible, gave me, under oath, the 
following fact : 

*' She was an orphan, and was engaged to a foreigner whom 
she loved dearly. He could not obtain his family's consent 
to their marriage. They waited long, and then, either from 
prudent motives or in a sort of spite, she mamed an elderly 
man who had also solicited her hand. (I omit unnecessary 
explanations.) 

^* She was true to her husband, and never again saw her first 
lover, who went back to his own country. But she never 
ceased to think of him. 

"A few years later, one day on entering her chamber she 
thought she saw him lying on the ground, all bloody and 
seeming dead. She uttered a cry of terror, and she drew 
near him, not deeming that she was the victim of an illusion. 
After a minute all disappeared, and her husband, who had 
come in, on hearing her cry, saw nothing. 

'^ She supposed that M. S. must have been the victim of an 
accident, but she could not find out, not knowing exactly 
where he lived. 

'^ A few days after she met a correspondent of M. S., who 
told her that his friend, weary of his life, had committed suicide. 

102 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

^* When Bhe compared the date of her apparition with that of 
^ his death, she wuis convinced of the coincidence. 

*'M* Gaxjthieu. 
*'^yo^''' Letter m 

LXXI, *' A lady attended a great ceremonious dinner, given 
by an illostrious personage. In the course of the dinner she 
gave a loud scream, and fixed her ©yes on the wall before her, 
stretching ont lier arms at the same time- She cried : * My 
son ! My son !' and fell down in a fainting fit. They carried 
her into another room, and when she came to herself she 
told them, sobbing bitterly, that suddenly the dining-room 
with its lights and its guests had disappeared, and in their 
place she had seen an angry sea and her son contending with 
the waves. He stretched out his arms to her. Later she 
received news of the death of this son, an officer in the navy. 
His ship was in the Indies, where it had been wrecked by a 
tidal wave on the day of her vision. 

** I can, if yon wish, give names, places, and dates, 

"J. Hervosches de QuiLLioiir, 

•• LamberdioT Dear Combourg, Ile-et-Vilaioe." 
Letter 246. 

LXXII. '* One of my friends, the wife of a captain in the 
' army, has twice experienced a clear impression of seeing a 
human being. Once it was her cousin, whom she called by 
his name, on a promenade, being very moch astonished to 
meet him there. Another day her man-servant, whom she 
had left at Toulouse while she went on a journey, opened 
the door of her chamber, and she asked him, with much 
amazement, what he was doing there, 

" Neither of the apparitions lasted long, and both coincided 
with the dying hoor of the yonng men. 

"J, Debat-Ponsak* 



•' Toulouse." 



Letter 253. 



LXXIIL '* A lady, one of my friends, ^ho is worthy of all 
belief, told me that a few years ago, when travelling in the 
Valais, she heard, after she went to rest, three loud knocks 



103 



THE UNKNOWN 

on her bed. She was quite alone in her chamber, but her 
travelling companion, who slept in the next room, had also 
heard the knocks, and came in to know if she were ill, after 
having first called to her. Two days later my friend received 
news of the death, almost a sudden death, of one of her in- 
timate acquaintances, who had died at Fribourg on the day 
and the hour exactly coinciding with the time at which she 
heard the blows. F. Mosabd. 

** 2 Rue de Lausanne, Fribourg." 

Letter 372. 

LXXIV. ** One evening I had gone to bed when I heard a 
great noise in my chimney, as if some one were shaking the 
fire-board. I was so frightened that I rang for my servant. 
Nothing we could find explained the noise, and it was some 
time before I could calm myself, so great had been the im- 
pression made on me. The next morning I received a note 
telling me of the death of an intimate friend who had died 
the previous night. (I forgot to ask at what hour.) 

*^At once the noise in the night recurred to me, and be- 
came associated in my mind with my friend's death, for a 
very especial reason. This is why I feel it my duty to tell 
you of it. What especially marked the connection between 
the mysterious noises and my friend's death was that there 
existed between her and me a secret concerning the illness 
that was the cause of her death. 

"M. Clement-Hameliit. 

"Tours." Letter 274. 

LXXV. " About twelve years ago I lived at Auch. On a 
certain night my wife, who was sleeping in a chamber next to 
mine, separated from it only by a slight partition, woke me 
by saying * Did you call me? ' * No,' I answered. ' Well, I 
assure you I heard my name called three times very distinct- 
ly. The voice said, '^Marie ! Marie !"' * You were probably 
dreaming,' I said, 'and fancied in your dream that some one 
called you. I was fast asleep.' 

'* A moment after my wife called to me again, saying *Get 
up at once and light your candle ; somebody did call me. 

104 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

Come here ; I am afraid/ But now the phenomenon be- 
comes very extraordinary. My wife> who was much excited, 
passed the rest of the night in my clmmber and insisted on 
keeping the candle lighted until daylight. * Remember what 
I tell yon/ sho said ; ' we are going to hear to-day that M. 
Gaiitier, of Marseilles^ is dead, I recognized the sound of 
his voice in the two calls made to me/ 

*' The next day I was standing in my front door when the 
letter-carrier came up and gave me a letter with a hlack 
edge. I was stupefied when I saw that the postmark was 
Marseilles, but my stupefaction was greater when I found 
that it was from Madame Ganfcierj informing my wife that 
her husband had died that nightj and at the same hour when 
ghe had been twice called, 

*^I have related this extraordinary phenomenon to many 
"personsj and I am now glad to communicate it to yon, in 
hopes that you may, through your labors of research, tlirow 

teome light upon it. j^ Bevf^s. 

*' 5 Rue Casaini, Kice." Letter 275. 

LXXVL (A). ** When my father was twenty years of age 
he was in Corsica at his father's house with three of his 
brothers, whose ages ranged from nineteen to thirty. None 
of them were at all nervous persons. 

''One night they heard in an upper story, which belonged 
to their apartments but was not occopied, a noise as if some 
one was walking about tiie room. 'Do yon hear that ?' said 
one of them. * It seems as if some one were stamping with 
his heels/ They went np-stairs ; they looked everywhere. 
There was nothing, and when they got back to their room 
the noise recommenced. It lasted an hour* Some time 
after they heard that an aunt in America had died on the 
same night and at the honr when they had been disturbed 
by these unusual noises. 

(B). *'In July, 1877, my father died at Constantine, in 
Igeria. One of his brothers, to whom he was particularly 
Ittached, was then in Corsica, and %vae swinging in a ham- 
mock. He was at the moment alone in the house; there 

105 



THE UNKNOWN 

was neither man nor beast there. Suddenly he heard some- 
thing jumping violently on the floor above him. My uncle 
asked himself what could it be. Then remembering what 
had happened in the days of his youths he cried : ' I under- 
stand ! I understand ! He is dead/ He was my father. 

** A few hours later a despatch was received, saying that 
my father had died at the very time my uncle heard the 
noises overhead. 

"E. Eaffaelli de Gall^an. 

"^^^®*" Letter 284. 

LXXVII. " My father is a man of much knowledge, of de- 
cision of character, and he has never had anything to do 
with spiritualism or things pf that kind. Now, in 1870, he 
and my mother, being both asleep, were awakened at the 
same moment by hearing the steps of a man wearing heavy 
shoes. The steps came up to the bed, and to the rug beside 
it. At this moment my father lit a candle, but he saw noth- 
ing, and the silence was complete. A few days after a letter 
from the navy department brought news of the death of 
one of my uncles who was serving in the navy at Toulon. 
He was much attached to my mother. He died on the very 
day when the noise of the steps had been heard, but my father 
never could learn the exact hour of his death. Neither my 
father nor my mother had at first thought the noise of any 
importance. The phenomenon is therefore incomplete, but 
I thought it better not to omit anything in an inquiry of this 
kind. 

** Dr. Lamacq Dormoy, 
" Hospital Doctor, 1 Hue Ravez, Bordeaux.*' 
Letter 288. 

LXXVIII. **I am not going to tell you of an apparition, 
but only of two things that happened on the day of the 
death of an officer who was killed in Tonquin. 

" These things were : in the afternoon three knocks were 
struck upon our kitchen door and heard by my cook and 
her son. The latter said to his mother, ^ There is madame 
knocking;' but the cook answered, 'Madame has gone out, 

106 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMTl^ICATIONS 

but let us go through the rooms and see.* They found no 
Lone« 

^' The next night I beard some one walking in the chamber 

aext to my own. When I told my servant how I had been 
"frightened in the night, she told me what she had heard the 

night before. Twelve days later I heard of the death of my 

adopted son, which took place that same day. This happened 

ton the 1st of August, 1895. 
*' Written for my aunt, Madame Violet. 

"G. CLAETf. 
**13 bis Faubourg Stanislaus, Kancy*** 
Letter 287. 

LXXIX, *' I bad been several months absent from Paris, 

^■iBd when I returned to it I thought of all the persons I was 

^Bnost anxious to see again and of wiiom I bad not beard since 

^H&y departure. They all passed before my mind^s eye, look- 

^^ng as usual, except a gentleman abont fifty, who looked pale 

and seemed grenily changed. I said to myself, * Probably I 

shall not see bim again. He must be dead or dying.' I bad 

no especial sympathy for this gentleman, and it was not any 

affection for him thafc made me think of liim. The next day 

when I found myself among some friends, I said, * Apropos, 

how isM. X. ?' ' Wby, don't you know/ they replied, 'be 

is to be buried to-morrow ? He died yesterday at three 

o'clock,' That was precisely the time when I bad seen him 

r'th all his features so changed and discomposed, 
"What I report is probably of no importance, but I wished, 
if I could J to respond to your appeal. 

I''K Hertieux* 
** Honlivilliera (Seiuelaferieure). " 
Letter 290. 

LXXX. *^Whon the celebrated revolutionary BarbS's 
was in the Prison Centrale at Nismes, be was always closely 
rntched by two guardians, but he had all the consideration 
lliat could be shown to a political prisoner. One day in the 
Bourt-yard, being with several other persons, be said to tbem 
suddenly, ^Something has bappeued to my brother.' The 

107 



THE UNKNOWN 

next day they learned that BarhS's brother had died at Paris, 
of a fall from his horse^ at the very moment when the im- 
pression that something had befallen him was made upon his 
brother. Mabgusbit. 

" 14 Allee du Busca. Toulouse.' 

Letter 295. 

LXXXI. *^ My mother, who lived in Burgundy, at Bligny- 
sur-Ouche (C6te-d^0r), in 1871 or 1872 (the exact date es- 
capes me, but it could be easily found), heard, one Tues- 
day between nine and ten o^clock, the door of her bed- 
chamber open and close violently. At the same time she 
heard herself called twice, * Lucie I Lucie V The following 
Thursday she heard that her uncle Clementin, who had al- 
ways had a great affection for her, had died that Tuesday 
mormng, precisely between nine and ten o'clock. This uncle 
lived at Uzerche, in the Corr^ze. At the moment of the call 
and of the noise — it may have been an apparition — my father 
was not in the house. When he came back about noon, on 
that same Tuesday, my mother told him what had taken 
place, but she did not think of its having any connection 
with her uncle. 

** There was really nothing in it but that a door had been 
opened and closed violently, and that she was twice called by 
name, * Lucie ! Lucie !' 

" My father and mother are both living with me at Bourges, 
and this circumstance has long been known to me. I can 
assure you of its perfect authenticity. 

" If it seems interesting enough to be given to the public, 1 
beg you only to sign it with my initials, for one cannot be in- 
dependent here : onestplutdt ^bourgeois.' 

"P. D. 

•'Bourges." Letter 803. 

LXXXn. " In 1856 I was nine years old and my brother 
was six. We lived with our parents at Besangon. My father 
and mother came from Wurtemberg, one of our grand- 
mothers lived at Ulm, and the other at Stuttgard. We had 
never seen them. I, the eldest, hardly knew what a grand- 

108 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

'mother was like, still less did my little brother. All that we 
knew of them was that every year at Christmas -time hoth 
wrote to our parents, who, when they kissed iia on Christmna 
aorning, in turn told each of ns that our grandmother prayed 
that her grandchiklren might grow np tali and good, and sent 
us her blessing. 

'*That was not much to children, and I think that the 
tiniest doll or the least little Jumping-jack would, at this 
time in onr lives, have made more impression on us. How- 
ever, here is what happened. One Thursday in Fehroary, 
1856, our mother told us to run down into the garden and en- 
joy the nice sunshine. fSo I took my brother by the hand and 
we went down. Btit when we were in tlie garden, my brother, 
instead of playing with me, as I begged him to do, sat down 
by himself in a corner, and then suddenly, though nothing had 
happened to him, he began to sob, Rnnning towards the 
house he cried, 'I want to see my grandmother — ^my poor 
grandmother whom I have never seen. I want to see her !' 
)ur mother, thinking he had hurt himself, ran out at once 
her dear little one, but to all her kisses and questions he 
"only answered that he wanted to go and sec his grandmother. 
They consoled him with great difficulty, and promised him 
that if he were good he should go and see her. 

**The next Sunday my father came in holding a letter with 
black seal. ^My poor, dear wife,' he said to our mother, 
taking her in his arms, and with tears in his eyes, 'our little 
Edmond was not wrong when he asked to ace his grandmother, 
for she died the very day and hour when he was sobbing and 
asking to see her.* 

*'Emilie Seitz. 

"^^^*«" Letter 814, 

LXXXIIL " Wlien I was twenty -two or twenty-three years 
of age I had a little gir!, a relation, aged seven, whom I was 
very fond of. She loved to come to the house, to knock at 
the door, and then would laugh when we called out, 'Come 
The same year she fell ill, and I scarcely left her dur- 
ag the two days when she was dying. At last my mother, 
Ireadiug lest I should be exhausted, came to take me away* 

100 



THE UNKNOWN 

It was eleven o^clock at night. The little girl's uncle, who 
had arrived that day from Paris, asked us to wait a moment 
while he went to get his hat, and he would see us homo. 
We were all standing in the kitchen near the front door 
when we heard raps on it just as those the little girl would 
have made. My mother called out, * Come in.' I said as 
she went to open the door, ' We can't let anybody in at this 
hour.' * Perhaps it is the nuns,' she answered. But, no ! 
No one had come up the yard, or knocked at the door. 

'^ We reached our own house about ten minutes after this, 
and were immediately followed by the maid who waited on 
the parents of our little friend, to tell us that little Marie 
had just died. 

*^A. Laurencot, 
*' Postmistress at Pouvent-le-Haut (Haute-Sadne)." 
Letter 822. 

LXXXIV. " I am about to relate to you something that 
happened in my own family, having relation to apparitions 
of the dying. 

" My father for seven years had been on bad terms with 
his son, and did not even know where he was living; he ap- 
peared to this son two hours before his death. My brother, 
as he left his chamber at seven o'clock, saw our father about 
two yards away from him, and asked him affectionately, 
* Why have you come here ?' My father answered, * To look 
for you,' and disappeared immediately. 

" My brother's wife, who was in the chamber opening on the 
corridor where this passed, heard the voices, for she at once 
inquired to whom her husband had been speaking. It was 
December 3, 1889. I was at that time sitting beside the bed 
of my father, who was asleep. At nine o'clock he died with- 
out having regained consciousness. 

"Emma Lxttz. 

*' 8 Place Kleber. Strasbourg." 

Letter 395. 

LXXXV. "Madame Carvalho, mistress of a young girls' 
boarding-school at Lisbon, had five or six years ago among 
her pupils a little girl ten years old, whose mother was an 

110 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



^actress, touring with her company in Brazil, One night the 

child woko, cryiog and calling out, 'Mamma! Mammal I 

am 80 tronbled about mamma !' The child did not say if 

she had seen her mother, but tho poor woman had died tlmt 

same night of yellow-fever at Kio Janeiro, 

'^ Madame J. Leipold, 
" 21 CalU da Gloria, Lisbon." 

Letter 331. 

LXXXVL ' ^ Here is what happened to mj f ath er, a half-pay 
captain of the navy. He was at sea, and had jnst come on 
deck for his watch at midnight. As he walked upon the 
bridge ho suddenly saw before his eyes a young child dressed 
in white, v/ho seemed to fly past him* ^Did you see noth- 
ing ?' he said to a sailor who was on watch with him, * No/ 
said tho man. Then my father told him what he had seen, 
and addedj * Some miaf ortane has happened to my people at 
liome/ 

"He made a note of the day and the honr^ and on reaching 
home found that on that date one of his little nieces had 
lied. 

*' My father often told ns this, and he repeated it to me 

I when we read your appeal in the paper. 
"M. Cheillak* 
•*Araew/* 
Letter 841. 
LXXXVIL "I Ycnture to relate to yon an anthentic fact 
which happened to my aunt (my mother's sister), who lives 
in Germany, and who told it to me herself, 

*' One morning, about eight o'clock, she had been busy fix- 
ing her danghter^s hair, when aaddeuly she saw on the wall 
phantom, tho head of which waa perfectly distinct, but the 
eatnres seemed distorted by illness, and my aunt thought it 
the face of a dying persou. She was so much impressed by 
this vision that she began to scream. Her husband and one 
of her daughters came to her at once, and she pointed, weep- 
ing, to the phantom, which had not yet wholly disappeared. 
My uncle and my two cousins seeing nothing, began to 
laugh at her, 

111 



THE UNKNOWN 

*^ Two days later she heard of the death of her mother, 
which took place at Athens, the 4-16 of January, 1896, about 
seven o'clock in the morning. My aunt, who had not even 
had notice of her sister's illness, knew the exact date, for the 
day of the apparition was her daughter's birthday. 

"CouiTTEss Caroline Metaxia. 
•' Ch&teau de Tharandt, near Dresden." 
Letter 348. 

LXXXVIII. " My great-uncle, now dead, was manager in 
one of the great forges in the Ari^ge. One evening he was 
going to his work, as usual, when, on arriving at nightfall at 
some distance from the forge, he all of a sudden felt his cap 
lifted from his head, when his hair stood up — and that hap- 
pened at two different times without his being able to guess 
what could possibly be the cause. 

*^ When he reached the forge, which he was, as I have said, 
very near, his workmen, who were all in excitement, told him 
that one of their number had suddenly disappeared, and that 
they had looked for him but could not find him. I may ob- 
serve that the man was a friend of my uncle. They discov- 
ered him shortly after, dead, in a cellar or a pit into which 
he must have fallen. 

**Here is the fact. The unimaginative character of my 
uncle, his courage and his honesty, which are a sort of tra- 
dition in our family, do not permit me to doubt for one mo- 
ment the truth of his recital. E. Peyron, 

" Medical Student at Toulouse." 
Letter 856. 

LXXXIX. "Madame A., the mother of the person who 
told me this experience, had for some years had in her ser- 
vice a servant to whom she was much attached. This woman 
married and went to live on a farm at some distance from the 
little town where Madame A. resided. One night she sud- 
denly sprang up, wide awake, and said to her husband, 
'Don't you hear? Don't you hear? Madame is calling me.' 
But everything was calm and silent, and her husband tried 
to reassure her. After a few minutes the poor woman, still 

112 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

more agitated> cried : ' I must go to Madamo. She calls me* 
I am sure I ouglit to go/ Her husband continued to think 
that she was under the influence of some bad dream. He 

f laughed at her, and after a while succeeded in calming her. 

[ "The next morning when the man went to the village he 
heard that Madame A. had been suddenly taken ill the even- 
ing before, and that she had died in the night calling all the 
time for her old maid, at the very momejii when this woman 

tBcemed to hear the yoice of her mistress. Sczanke H. 

"^^''^^''" Letter 862. 

XC A. *' Monsieur Passer who is now dead, bat who for 
many years, was the Protestant pastor at Versailles, told me 
what follows : 

'* One day, being broad awake and having all his wits 
about him (he was then, if I mistake not, a student at Stras- 
bourg), he saw his brother, an officer in a regiment of Turcos 
in Africa, lying at the bottom of a pit where grain was 
stored, with his head split open. Although he was much im- 
pressed by this sight he did not for a moment think that it 
represented a reality, and later it went out of his mind, until 
he received by post from Algeria news that the very day 
when the vision had appeared to him, his brother had been 
attacked by one of hia men, who, after having split open his 
sknll^ threw him into the silo, 

B. ^^A yoang girl very intimate in my family, whose fa- 
ther lived at Constantinople (I do not tell you his name, not 
having been authorized to do so)> was staying with an aunt 
at Geneva. One evening when she had been to a ball, and, 
as nsual, had been very gay, she stopped of a sudden i7i the 
middU of a dance and bnrst into tears, crying, 'My father is 
dead. I have seen himP They had great difficulty in com- 
posing her, and a few days after they learned that her father 
(whom she had not known was ill) had died at the very mo- 
rHient when she experienced the manifestation,* 

**97RueDrttgoD.Mai3ei]les. A. E, MoNOC." 

Letter 363. 

' Similar to XLIV, and LX. 
113 



THE UNKNOWN 

XGIT. ^^ Being at one time at Zarioh for a few months^ I 
saw one day, about three in the afternoon, a person pass my 
window, which looked upon the street, who I was quite sure 
was in Italy. I received so strong an impression of this that 
I did not get over it all day, and told it to one of my cousins. 
(I was wrong not to have made a note of the day and the ex- 
act hour.) Some days after this I learned that the person I 
had seen passing (a doctor who had once attended me and 
to whom I was much attached) had died suddenly from the 
rupfcure of a blood-vessel in Italy. I think I can assure you 
that more than twenty-four hours had not elapsed between 
the time of the apparition and the death of the doctor. 

** Lucie Niederhausbb. 

-Mulhouse." Letter 866. 

XCIII. *' About three years ago my wife's father and 
mother lived at Marseilles, Place Sebastopol No. 5, on the 
second story. Their oldest daughter lived at B6ziers, where 
she was extremely ill. M. and Madame Jaume quitted their 
apartment at Marseilles to go and nurse their daughter, and 
left their rooms to the care of some kind friends who occu- 
pied the first floor. After we had been away a month we 
had the misfortune to lose my sister-in-law, their eldest 
daughter. Now the very night of her death, and at the same 
hour (11 P.M.), the family who lived in the first story of the 
house at Marseilles were not a little surprised to hear some 
one going up to the second story, open the doors, and walk 
about the apartment. They did not doubt for a moment 
that it was the Jaume family come back from B^ziers ; but as 
they had gone to bed they did not think it necessary to get up 
and go to welcome them. Early the next morning they went 
to pay their visit. What was their astonishment to find the 
apartment undisturbed and empty ! No door had been opened, 
and there was nothing to show that any person had been in 
the rooms. Oh. Soulairol, 

"Druggist of the first class, at Cazouls-les-Beziers (Herault).'* 
Letter 867. 

XCIV. '* I should like, in response to your request relative 

114 



OF TELErATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



to psychical facts, to acquaint you with the following, the 
authenticity of which my father, M, Fleurant, an ex-school- 
aaster, and my mother, a schooKmia trees, are ready to certify. 
"It was in 1887, in Febrnary. My mother had then an 
only brother, who lived at Evrenx. She was very fond of 
him, and he loved her tenderly. 

"Unhappily my uncle contracted an incurable disease, 
which we knew could end only in the tomb, in spite of sci- 
ence and the loving care of his family* 

" Towards the close of the preceding year mj mother, who 
had gone to visit her broth c]', had been able to see for herself 
how ill he was, and had been told by the doctor that he was 
^not likely to live more than a month longer. 
^H ''On the 11th of that month, about six o'clock in the 
^Revening, my mother having gone into the cellar of her 
^Rschool - house, came up in a state of indescribable emotion ; 
she had heard, at intervals of a few seconds, three heart- 
rending cries, calling on her for help. They seemed to come 
through the grating of the cellar, which was to the north. 
'My brother,^ she cried to my father, *is dying, I hear him 
call me!' Two days after this she received a letter dated 
March 13th, informing her of the death of my nncle, Ernest 
Barth^lemy. Mademoiselle Blanche de Louvigny, who wrote 
the letter, and who had been with the sick man to the last, 
wrote that he had not ceased to call for my mother, 

" My mother has often told me these details, and she is still 
confident (though she cannot explain the phenomenon) that 
she was for some moments in relation in spirit with her brother. 
** I send these details to you, hoping that they may be use- 
^^iil to you in your search after causes which can prodnce such 
^Bffects. A, Pleurant, 

^H " School -mistress at Eouilly, but now staying 

^H wiili her parents at Theaay (Indre)/' 

"The undersigned subscribe their names to certify that 
Uie particulars given by their daughter are perfectly exact. 

" Gr. Fleurant, 
"lie tired School-master. 
Letter 806. "S, Fleueakt, 

'* School-mis tress nt Thenay." 
115 



THE UNKNOWN 

XCV. *^ About two years ago a young couple who now re- 
side in my family, went home one night between nine and ten 
to see their parents, who live on a small farm a mile and a 
half from the city. 

'^ The husband was driving a work-horse belonging to the 
farm, which did not move very fast. At one part of the road, 
though rather remote from the farm, it is possible to get a 
view of the house and the out-buildings. Suddenly the man 
driving saw, at intervals of a few minutes, flames rising above 
the roofs like three great will-o'-the-wisps. He thought that 
something was on fire, and tried to urge on his horse. His 
young wife had seen nothing, but when they got into the 
court-yard she, as well as her husband, heard distinctly loud 
blows upon the garden gate, like beating a drum. 

''When they got into the house they found the old mother 
greatly excited. Three different times (corresponding to the 
three times her son had seen the flames) she had heard chairs 
moved in the hall. Three times she had gone down-stairs, 
but had seen nothing. She had called up the farm-servants 
to examine the stables, but they saw and heard nothing 
abnormal. 

" The young farmer and his wife were very much impressed, 
and when every one, somewhat reassured, had gone back to 
their beds, the racket of the chairs recommenced. The 
laborers were called in again, and as in the country whole- 
some traditions of piety are not quite lost, the mother and 
her children joined in prayer for the poor soul in distress, 
who seemed fco have come to them for aid and pity, though 
they did not know whose soul it might be. On the morrow 
they heard that a young cousin, to whom the whole family 
was attached, had been buried that day. Through an inex- 
plicable blunder no person on the farm had been bidden to 
the funeral. 

" Five persons on this occasion had seen strange sights or 
felt inexplicable sensations: the father, who was of an incredu- 
lous turn of mind, the pious mother, her son, her daughter- 
in-law,, and a young girl. The servants, being quartered in 
another part of the house, could not be supposed to have had 

116 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

auything to do with the mysterious noises. They were sound 
asleep when tbe loud knocking at the garden gate aroused 
them, and their visit to the stables proyed that all was qniet 
there. M. Pasquel. 

" 3 RuQ de la Pontaioe Goane (Nitivre)." 
Letter S99. 

XCVI. "My mother was by the bedside of her own mother, 
"who was not well, &nd was at the same time very uneasy to 
think that she could not pay a last visit to a neighbor and 
friend who was dying (bnt no one had told her that her end 
was very near). Suddenly, the doors and windows being 
closed, they saw, not the curtains^ bnt the two valances, hung 
round the edge of the canopy of the bed, shake backward and 
forward p They parted and came together again as if moved 
by a strong pull, and my grandmother at once said: 'See, 
my daughter — ^ Josephine is bidding me adieu V My mother 
hastened to her friend^s house. She had juBt expired. 

"MaEIE OLLlVlEfi. 

"Garcoult(Var.)." 

Letter 402i. 

XCVIL ''My mother was busy one day about household 

affairs, when slie heard very distinctly the voice of her brother, 

who lived about four hundred miles off, twice calling her by 

her Christian name to come to him* She went to my father 

and said, 'It is curious, but I have Just heard my brother 

calling me. I feel much troubled. I do not know what 

may happen.^ Two days later she received a letter which 

told her that her brother was dead. He died on the day 

I when she had heard his voice. Peltier. 

•*MaraeillcB." 

Letter 405, 

XCVIIL "I send you a fact. Yon may depend upon its 
veracity. Being a soldier, on leave at home at Annot (Basses 
Alpes), December 30, 1890, in the morning my mother when 
she got up said to me, ' I think a death has happened in our 
family. Last night at two o*clock I was awakened by sharp 
blows on the wall at the head of my bed. I was wide awake, 

117 



THE UNKNOWN 

and I had at once the idea that a death had occurred among 
oar friends/ I did not put much faith in her apprehensions. 
But about ten o'clock in the morning we received a telegram 
from Digne, announcing the severe illness of my aunt, Sister 
St. Ang^le, Superior of the Orphan Asylum of St. Martin of 
Digne. My mother said, * This telegram will be followed by 
another to tell us of her death/ And in truth another tele- 
gram arrived in the evening, announcing her decease. A letter 
also arrived on December 31, showing that my aunt, after 
an illness of several days, had died on the 30th of December, 
at two o'clock in the piorning, the very hour when my mother 
had heard those blows struck near her as she lay upon her 
pillow. My mother had not known that my aunt was ill. 

"Bablatier. 
" Annot (Basses- Alpes)." j^^^^ ^ 

XCIX. "The fact I have to relate took place at Contes, in 
the Alpes Maritimes, in 1881. It was upon a Sunday when I 
was in church with all my class (it was the duty of a school- 
master in those days to take his pupils to High Mass on that 
day). At a moment when we were all standing up, and con- 
sequently were all awake, I had a distinct impression that a 
voice was calling me, saying: 'Your sister is dead.' And 
indeed, on getting home, I found that my sister, who had 
been sick some time but had not kept her bed, in a dying 
condition. She breathed her last three or four hours after. 
This fact is, and always will be, as fresh in my memory as it 
was the day it took place. PENcfiNAT. 

"^^^®-" Letter 414. 

C. ''My mother, Madame Molitor, at Arlon, has asked me 
to send you her answer to your request. 

" In November, 1891, one morning about five o'clock, she 
woke up, being in bed. She saw her brother coming in 
through the open door of her chamber. He was a lieutenant 
on service at the military slaughter-house at Mons (Hai- 
naut). He was in his fatigue uniform, just as she had last 
seen him when he came home on furlough for a holiday, 
which he passed at her house. He looked at her, smiled, 

118 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

then turned and went away, making her a sign of farewell 
with his hand. At eleven o'clock the same morning came a 
telegram saying he was dead, 0, Molitor, 

** Clerk in the public registry office at Arlon (Belgium)." 
Letter 430. 

CL (A) '* About forty years ago one of my near relations, 
who was then a young girl, was walking in the country with 
her mother when she felt something like a breath pass over 
her, She cried out: *X» is just dead/ 
'^It was trae. 

'' X. was her young lover. He died of consumption. She 
knew he was very ill," 

(B) ** Hero is another fact that I had repeated to me yester- 
day evening, that I might send it to yoo with all its details. It 
happened to our maid, a very intelligentj good girl, who has 
[ been living with us for some years. 

^H *'In 1884 she had a place with an old, unmarried lady, 

Hvho, when the cholera came, went into tlie country, not far 

r from Toulon, taking her maid with her. One night she 

was aroused by slight taps against the window-panes. She 

listened^ then hearing nothing more, imagined she had 

dreamed, and tried to go to sleep again. 

! ** There was more knocking at the window. Very much 

N startled, she sat up. 
h *' The raps were repeated a third time; then she saw some- 
TOing like a phantom, all in white, twice pass the window. 
Her chamber was on the first story, and opened on a roof. 
But the house was isolated, and if any one had been walking 
on the roof she would certainly have heard it, for she had 
very quick ears. The next morning she told about it to her 
mistress, who made fun of her, and assured her she had been 
dreaming. Two months later she heard of the death, two 
months before, of a cousin whom she loved like a sister. Her 
family, knowing the affection that she had for her, had not 
told her of this cousin's sudden death. She died after a few 
hours* illness of cholera. L. Feirixoek^ 

" Captain in the N'avy, oa half pay at Toulon." 
Letter 4B2, 
119 



THE UNKNOWN 

CIII. ''A few years ago M. and Madame H. W. were visit- 
ing a rich old man named St. Aubin, who, it seems, was a 
man of good education and something of an original. In the 
course of conversation the old man, believing his death to be 
near at hand, promised M. W. that in his dying moments he 
would send him warning, and M. W. made the same promise 
in return. 

"The summer passed, and they had not been again to visit 
the old man. One winter night, while at supper, M. W. was 
reading his newspaper; of a sudden he looked up and said to 
his wife: *St. Aubin is dead.^ Madame W. could not believe 
it, and asked how he had heard the news. 

"^No one has mentioned St. Aubin to me,' he said, 'but 
I had a little tap on my forehead just now, which made me 
at once think of the death of St. Aubin.* The next morn- 
ing at church Madame W. heard the death of Sfc. Aubin 
announced; he had passed away in the evening of the day be- 
fore. M. W. (my uncle), who told me this story, said it was 
impossible to describe the nature of the slight blow he had 
received. He never had felt anything like it. My uncle is 
not credulous or supertitious, but quite the contrary. 

*^GUSSIE VAN DER HaEGE. 
** Roulers/' 

Letter 433. 

CIV. (A) " Madame Mercador, my mother-in-law, was mar- 
ried at Vernet-les-Bains, in the eastern Pyrenees. One even- 
ing she sent her daughter-in-law. Mademoiselle Ursule Mer- 
cador, who was then ten years old, to shut the front door. 
The young girl came back much frightened, saying that a 
hearse was standing before the house. They would not be- 
lieve her, and laughed at her. But the next morning came 
a dispatch from Elne (there were no telegraphs in those days) 
saying that my mother-in-law's father had died the evening 
before, just at the hour when Mademoiselle Mercador had 
gone to shut the door and had seen the hearse. 

(B) " My wife was fifteen when the following circumstance 
occurred, but she remembers it all perfectly. Her parents 
kept a bathing establishment at Yernet-les-Bains, and all 

120 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

T;he servants had tbeir rooms in the main building, in the 
same passage. Now a cook named Guiraiid was taken very 
ill, and one night he died* All the servants flocked at once 
into his chamber the moment that he died, but nobody bad 
summoned them. They all said that each of them had been 
awakened by a smart blow struck on the foot of their bed. 
**I think I have responded to your wishes by sending you 
II these facts, which are authentic. 

H ''Db. H. MA8SINA. 

^H •*VerDet-le8-Baiiis." 

^B Letter 437. 

CVI. ^^ Madame S., a highly educated and intelligent 
woman, a poetess and a transcendentalist, who had no pri- 
vate fortune, but was fertile in inventions, went in 1851 to 
London to the great exhibition, whm^e she received a prize 
of 100,000 francs for some improvement in ropes and sails. 
Her evil star brought her into connection with an Arab, who 
was a great personage in his own country, and wonderfully 
handsome ; he made such an impression on her that she gave 
him her daaghter in marriage, and settled on her, as her dot^ 
the 100,000 francs, reserving for herself only the future 
profits of her invention, which ended by a sharp man of busi- 
ness, an Englishman, making millions out of it, while she 
was left without a cent. The young girl, wlio was pretty, 
amiable, and gentle, carefully brought up and educated, a 
specimen, in short, of the best culture of Pans, with its re- 

lement and attractivenesSj was taken at once to Africa by 
ler husband, a true barbarian, whose civilisation was only 
put on for the occasion, and a miserable, horrible life began 
for her. It was the life of a nomad. Her home was a tent, 
where she lived in company with three or four other wives, 
as savage and degraded as their lord and master. 

"Four or five years later Madame S., one evoniog in Paris 
as she was sitting at her fireside, heard the voice of her 
daughter calling to her, ' Mamma ! Mamma !^ She thought 
at first she was mistaken. Then the cry became more loud, 
and its tones were tones of anguish. She rose, went through 
her rooms, and looked into the street. She found nothing. 



THE UNKNOWN 

She did not know what to think or what to do, when a third 
time the voice called: 'Mamma, come! Oh, come, I pray! 
Come to me, quick V 

"At this she hesitated no longer. The next morning by 
break of day she was on her way to Marseilles. How long 
did her journey last ? Was the railroad to the Mediterranean 
then in operation ? Had the voice said ' Come to Mar- 
seilles ?' All this I do not know. All that I do know is 
that she found her unhappy daughter at the point of death 
when she reached Marseilles. The poor thing seemed as if 
she had only lived till she could die in her mother's arms. 

"S. Babinbt Eencognb. 
"Toulouse." 

Letter 440. 

CVII. (A) ^' My maternal grandfather, a man grave, calm, 
and as straight-laced as could be, was walking one day in the 
most populous part of London, absorbed in his own reflec- 
tions. Suddenly he saw a man push his way through the 
crowd and come towards him. It was a friend of his boy- 
hood, a colonel then in India, who, according to what was 
said in the newspapers, he believed at that moment to be en- 
gaged in helping to put down the Sepoy mutiny. My grand- 
father, in the greatest surprise, put out his hand to his 
friend and was about to ask him a question when, as sudden- 
ly as he had come, he disappeared. When my grandfather 
reached home he asked if the colonel had called to see him; 
and when his servant said 'no,' though still very uneasy, he 
went to his club. There nobody had seen the colonel. 
Weeks passed. At that time news travelled less rapidly than 
it does now. One day as he was looking over a weekly paper 
published in India, he read to his great sorrow that among 
those who lost their lives through the treason of the Se- 
poys was his own friend, and on comparing dates he could 
not but suppose that the colonel died on the same day that 
he had seen his apparition in one of the most crowded streets 
of London, where he and his friend had been fond of walk- 
ing together and studying the faces of the London population. 

(B) " A young pastor told me the following story: 

122 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



'^'My father/ ho said, *died when I was a baby; my 
brother and I were brought up by the best, the kindest, and 
the most jiidiciooa of mothers, in the austere city of Bologna. 
Thongh she never showed a preference for any one of her 
[jhildren^ she bestowed especial care npon her yonngest son, 
fho was delicate and very loving, and who had inherited the 
"firm and gentle disposition of his English mother. 

" ' When I was twenty I went to the University at Bologna, 
rhile my brother was sent to Modena to the military school. 

could not tell you how much he suffered by his separation 
from home and from his mother. 

'* ' One evening, before going to bed^ my mother complained 
of not feeling very well, and showed some anxiety on the sub- 
ject of her absent son. But good, sweet, and resigned as 
she always was, she went quietly to rest, after having kissed 
me tenderly, as she always did. Our bed-chambers were next 
each other. I sat up part of the night, busy over some work 
that was difficult, and towards morning I lay down and went 
to sleep, 

" * Suddenly I was awakened by the sound of a voice, and 
was amazed to see my brother standing in my room, looking 
pale, and with convulsed features. ' * Mamma," he said, ** mam- 
ma I How IS she ? At ten minutes past twelve last night I 
saw her distinctly beside mj bed, at Modena. She smiled on 
me, with one hand she pointed np to heaven, and with the 
other she seemed to be giving me her blessing. Then she dis- 
appeared. I tell you that mamma is dead I" 

*^* I ran into our mother's room. With ns it was a hallowed 
spot. She was indeed dead, with a smile upon her lips. , . . 
Afterwards the doctor we called in assured us that she must 
1 have died abont midnight/ 

^B CIX. " I was about twelve years old at the time. The year 

' before I had made my first communion, and I was still under 

strong religions impressions. I was a boarder in my school, 

and said my prayers regularly before I went to sleep. One 

evening I was praying with especial fervency; I am not sure 



THE UNKNOWN 

why. I asked earnestly in my prayer that God would take 
into His care and keeping my grandmother, whom I loved 
dearly. I made a number of. little prayers, all concerning 
her. Then I shut my eyes. Immediately after I distinctly 
saw the face of my grandmother, who was leaning over me. 
Surprised, I opened my eyes, but all had disappeared. I at- 
tached no importance to this impression, and I soon went to 
sleep again. Children of that age do not worry. The next 
day, at nine o'clock, when I was in school, I was sent for, and 
the superintendent told me to take the ten-o'clock train and 
to go home to my grandmother, who had asked two days hol- 
iday for me. You may imagine how pleased I was to hear 
these words. I dressed myself quickly, as happy as a king. 
When I arrived at the station near my home I found my 
father waiting for me. He was in tears, and told me that my 
grandmother was ill. But when I got into the house, they 
gave me to understand that she was dead. A few days later 
I inquired at what hour my grandmother had died. They 
told me she had died on Friday, ten minutes before nine. 

'* I wish to observe here that my grandmother had been only 
taken ill on Thursday, the day before her death, and that no 
one had informed me of her illness. 

*' From that time, as I had implored God to give my grand- 
mother a long life for my sake, and He had not granted my 
prayer, I ceased to believe in Him. They say He grants the 
prayers of those who call on Him; but here is a proof that He 
does not, and also of the stujff taught by the Catholic religion. 
It is just like all the rest of it.' 

*^A. Fbingiante. 

"Torigny." Letter 448. 

CXI. ^* M. le Docteur Blanc, at Aix-les-Bains, told me that 
when he was young he had witnessed something very curious. 
One of his aunts was ill, and her son, a little fellow six years 
old, was sent for Doctor Blanc, at Sallanches — I think he was 

1 We leave all our correspondents free to express their opinions and to 
use their own language. But very different opinions will be found in 
XXXVIIL, XCV., etc. 

124 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

the father of the present doctor, and the child was a plajfel- 

)W of my consin's. 

"On his way the child stopped suddenly, and cried out : 
' Mamma ! I see mamma V This was told to the doctor, 
whose first thought was that the child must he ill, but a little 
later they learned that the child's mother was dead. She had 
died at the very moment wheti the child had cried out^ with 
JO cauacj apparently, Louis Nioole. 

" 61 Tiemey Street Station, Streathara, Loodon, S. W." 
Letter 4511. 



CXIL '* At Malamour was a relation of my mother^ who 
lived at Varenues, about seven miles and a lialf away. My 
mother was much attached to this gentleman, who had been 
of great use to her on certain occasions, 

** This relation, who is now no more, knew that my mother 
iras ailing. 

*^ He assured me that on the night she died he had heard 

i great noise in his loft, as if somebody was tossing sacks of 
orn violently about. He said to himself : * Cousin Labbe is 
lead/ 
*' This impression was confirmed when he received from 
le the usual notice of a relation's death. My mother died 
n the same night when he had heard the noises. 
**My own opinion is that if telepathic communications are 
not more common, it is because they are only sent by very 
dear friends to those who dearly love them. And how many 
persons are there who have real true friends ? 



•* 'There is nothing more common than the name, 
* Kothing more rare than the thing.' 




Letter 455. 



'* Labbe, 
"Kotary at Bsnes (Mense),' 



CXIII. '^ I have often heard the following fact related in 
my family. It happened to my unclCj a member of the In- 
stitute, Professor at the College of Chart es, who died eigh- 
teen years ago. Unfortunately I can only give you the out- 

125 




THE UNKNOWN 

line and principal facts of the story^ and I beg yon^ if yon 
publish them, not to give the name of my uncle. 

^' He was an earnest Catholic, and had been brought up by 
one of his aunts, whose memory he always cherished with 
gratitude and emotion. About the time of his first com- 
munion (the evening before, I think), being several hundreds 
of miles away from this aunt, he saw her standing near him, 
and felt certain she was dead, and had come to give him her 
farewell benediction. 

"A few days later he learned that, in truth, she had died 
at the very hour, when he, a child, had seen her beside him. 

" Paul Kittel, 
** Professor in the University of the Petit Lyc^e. 
•* Comellle. at Elboeuf (Seine Infirieure)." 
Letter 457. 

CXIV. " One summer day, about three o'clock in the 
afternoon, I was out walking, and as I went along I was 
reading a book by Alphonso Daudet, when suddenly it 
seemed to me that I saw one of my school-fellows, a pilot's 
apprentice in the navy, fall down before me, weeping, in the 
very attitude in which soldiers are always depicted when they 
fall back severely wounded ; his hand was on his heart, and 
he fell backward. This puzzled me, and in the evening I 
mentioned it to my family. 

" Four or five days later I received a letter from our late 
teacher, which said : * Your friend Louis is in the depths 
of despair. A few days since he was out gunning, when by 
some awkward blunder his gun went off and wounded his 
brother Charles, who has just taken his degree as Bachelor.' 

^* When I read this I thought of my vision. It had not 
told the truth. Louis was not wounded. My vision must 
have been at three o'clock, and the accident about half-past 
four. Later I heard that Louis, when he saw what had hap- 
pened, had fainted, saying, as he fell : ^ If Charles dies. Til 
kill myself.' 

" This is all I have to tell. I insist only on the certain 
fact that a misfortune was foretold an hour before the acci- 
dent took place. I send you the names of those concerned^ 

126 



TILEPA' 



[ITNICATIONS 



but I do not wish you to publish them in full, and I shonld 
be much obliged to you only to print their Cliristian names, 

**L, P. 
** Saint-PauMes-RoraaiDS (Dr6me)/' 

Letter 458. 



XV. ''In 1865 the cholera was ravaging La Sejne ; to 
escape from it my family sought refuge in a neighboriug 
hamleL In this hamlet lived a workman who, braving the 
epidemic^ went every morning to La Sejne, and returned 
home in the evening. 

'^ One morning, feeling very tired, he did not go as usual, 
and his son, who was fifteen, not thinking bis father serious- 
ly ill, went oft to amuse himself by fishing from the rocks, 
about four miles away, hoping his father would by- and- by come 
and join him. At half -past eleven the father died of cholera. 
At the same hour the son was convinced he had seen him on 
a neighboring rook making him a sign to come to him. But 
when he drew near the vision disappeared. 

"The young man, greatly alarmed, hastened with all speed 
^m|o their house, asking as he reached it if his father had come 
^fpome. They showed him his dead body, and at once he 
f told the story of how he had just seen him, 

'^ As I was not with the poor man in his last moments I 
( cannot say whether he called for his son when ho was dying, 
^Kud I limit myself to telling simply what I know and remem- 
^^kr* B A LOSSY, 

^^B ** Govcrament Controller of Tobacco, 

^^H '^PoDt-de-BeauToisia (Isere).'' 

^H Letter 459. 

I OXVI, "It was about 1850. Two sisters were together in 
bed, when one of them cried out suddenly, ' Oh, my God 1 
— my father !^ 

"Her mother thought she had an hallucination, or was 
dreaming, and tried to compose her daughter, but the 
daughter insisted : ' I am certain I saw papa. He touched 
me with his hand.' 

'^ I should say that her father had been for some time at 

127 



THE UNKNOWN 

Tours, putting up wooden buildings for the great fair to be 
held there. 

"Next day the family received a letter to say he had been 
killed by a fall the evening before, exactly at the same time 
that his daughter saw the apparition. 

"L. Delakoue, 
"A man of means, living at 18 Rue de Ch&teau, Loches/' 
Letter 432. 

CXVII. "In 1857 and 1858 I was living at Paimboeuf with 
my wife and child, in a house which had been occupied be- 
fore we took it by Madame Leblanc, who had gone to live 
at Nantes. One night in the spring of 1858 (I am sorry I 
cannot give the date more precisely, but any one might con- 
sult the civil register) my wife and I were awakened sud- 
denly by a loud noise. It seemed to both of us that a great 
bar of iron had been violently thrown down on the floor of 
our chamber, and that our bed was violently shaken. We 
sprang up in haste and lit the candle, running at once to 
our child^s cradle, and examining the whole room. Noth- 
ing had been disturbed. 

" The next day (or the day after) news reached us that 
Madame Leblanc had died the very night when, without any 
apparent cause, we were so roughly awakened, and about 
the same hour. We had never had any intimate relations 
with that lady, and did not know she was ill. 

*^My mother-in-law and sister-in-law, who occupied two 
rooms beyond ours, had got up and joined us. I think I 
was told that they were awakened by my wife's cries, and by 
the noise we made, and not by anything else. 

**When we learned that the date of Madame Leblanc's 
death corresponded with the event that had caused us so 
much surprise, my sister-in-law, who was very pious, said, 
* The souls of people dying, often, at the moment when they 
are separated from the body, come back to revisit the house 
where they have lived.' 

'^ L. Orieux, 
** Employ § of the Government, Nantes." 
Letter 462. 
128 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



CXVIIL " A few years ago, at Monzon (Ardennes), a wom- 
an who was very ill sent lier little daughter to pass a 
few days with some relations at Sedan, One night the child 
woke up crying, calling her mother, and asking to see her, 

E begging that she might be taken borne at once. 
"The next day news came that the mother waa dead. She 
had died in the night, at the very hour when the child had 
called her and insisted on being taken hack to her, 
I ** I do not remember the names of these people, nor the 
precise date of the event, not having paid great attention to 
the story at the time, but I can assure you that the fact is 
quite authentic. 
"G. GiLLET. 
**78 Rue Bourolget, Youziers (ATdennes).*' 
, Letter 472. 

CXIX. '^ My brother, who was military superintendent at 
Cayenne, had leave of absence, and spent his holiday at Bol* 
16ne, in the Department of Orange* He told me the follow- 
ing circumstance. He was very intimate with another su- 
perintendent, M, Eenucci. This gentleman liad a little 
daughter who was very fond of my brother and his wife. 
The little gir! fell ill. One night my brother woke up* At 
the far end of the chamber he saw little Lydia looking at 
him fixedly. Then she passed away. My brother, much 
I troubled, woke his wile and said to her: 'Didi* {Lydia's 
pet name) 'is dead. I have just seen her perfectly/ They 
I slept no more that night. 

I "The next morning my brother went in all haste to see 

M. Renucci. The little girl had indeed died during the 
night, the hour of her death coinciding with that of her ap- 
, pear ance to my brother, 

,^^^^ ^'Eegi^a Julliak^ 

^^^^^H " School mist resB at Moraes (?aticluse).'' 

I^^^V Letter 473. 

f CXX. *' Something that once happened to me seems to 

have some bearing on the facts of which you are publishing 
fio interesting a study. 

*' My father was ill, and was being nursed away from home. 




THE UNKNOWN 

Though we knew he was ill, we had firm hopes of his recov- 
ery. We went to see him, and had found him better, when 
one night I was suddenly roused, and my father's picture, 
which hung Just opposite my bed, seemed to me to make a 
sudden move. I say seemed to me, for I cannot imagine that 
it really stirred. At any rate, the first thing I did when I 
started up was to look at this picture which I had fancied I 
saw move. At the same time I felt so frightened that I 
could not go to sleep again. I looked to see what o'clock it 
was. It was exactly one in the morning.' 

** The next day, before noon, we received a letter begging 
us to hasten to our father, who had suddenly grown worse. 
We reached him too late. He had died at one o'clock that 
morning, precisely the hour when I was awakened. 

'^This fact, which I think of very, of ten, is absolutely 
wholly incomprehensible to me. 

"Juliette Th^veket. 

"Monte Carlo." 

Letter 475. 

CXXI. " I had been eight years absent from my father's 
house when, in the evenings, of January 7, 18 and 19, 1890, 1 
heard myself three times called by my Christian name : 'Lu- 
cine! Lucine! Lucine!' I was not often called by that name, 
for, being a governess at Breslau, people always addressed or 
spoke of me as Mademoiselle. The call was followed by the 
creaking of a great gate which opened on two rusty hinges. 
I recognized this creaking, though I had not heard it for 
eight years. It was the sound made by a very old gate at 
my father's house at Epauvilliers in Switzerland. I also recog- 
nized in the call the voice of my sister. I was agitated all 
night by a sad presentiment, and the next day I received 
news of my sister's death. She had passed away on the even- 
ing of the 18th or 19th of January. 

"L. Roy. 

"At Mistik, in Moravia (Austria)." 

Letter 478. 

CXXII. " Here is a case which was quite personal to me, 
and I should like to add it to the material for your learned 

130 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



Btndy, but I ask yoa to use your best discretion in the use 
you make of it ; for it is a coufessioiif which^ among its de- 
tails might giYQ many clews by which things it contains could 
be guessed or even recognized , especially by the family of 
one now dead, of whom I am about to speak to yon*^ 

**The day of our flrat interview I was twenty, he was 
thirty-two, Oor relations lasted for seven years; we loved 

I each other tenderly. 
^' One day my friend announced to me, not without keen 
regret, that his position^ his poverty, etc., forced him to think 
of marriage, and in his embarrassed explanations 1 could not 
but discern a vague wish that our relations might not be 
wholly interrupted, 

"I cut short this painful interview, and notwithstanding 
my deep regret, I never saw my friend again, for I loved too 
well to share with a good grace a man whom I so dearly 
loved with any other woman. 

*^I learned alterwards, almost by accident, that he was 
married, and had a little child. 

^'Some years after this marriage, on a night in April, 1893, 
I saw a human form enter my chamber^ but in vain I tried to 
discover its sex. The figure wag tall, and was wrapped in a 
white sheet which covered it entirely and concealed the face. 
I saw it draw near with terror. It leaned over me, and then 
its lips fervently pressed mine. But what lips they were! I 
never can forget the impression that they made on me. I 
felt neither passion, nor thrill, Bor warmth ; nothing but 

•cold^ — the chill of death. 
"Nevertheless, I experienced some pleasure, some com- 
fort, in this long kiss. But at no time in my dream did the 
name or the image of my lost love present itself to my mind. 
When I woke up I thought little or nothing of my dream, 
until the moment wheuj about noouj as I was reading the 

newspaper, the Jourital de , I saw the following : 

^h " * We are informed from X. that yesterday took place the 



1 I have therefore cbaoged the names of perBons aod of cities, 
also suppressed some details. 

131 



I have 



THE UNKNOWN 

funeral of M. Y/ (here the high qualities of the deceased 
were enlarged upon). And the article ended by attributing 
his death to typhoid fever, ^ brought on by exhaustion occa- 
sioned by a too conscientious devotion to duties he was en- 
deavoring faithfully to fulfil/ ' Dear friend,' I thought, 
*set free at last from the conventionalities of the world, thou 
didst come to tell me that it was I that thou hast loved, and 
whom thou lovest still beyond the grave. I thank thee, and 
will always love thee.' 

" Shall I ever recover him? My spirit would most gladly 
escape from its prison here, to seek for him wherever he may 
be found. 

"Mademoiselle L.'* 
Letter 494. 

CXXIII. "In the year 1866 M. Paul L., Professor of 
German at Saint Petersburg, was staying with his brother at 
the house of their mother living in Prussia, at some distance 
from a place where their sister lived. This sister was slightly 
indisposed and suffering. 

"One morning, September 17th, the two brothers were 
walking in the open country. Suddenly Paul heard his name 
called twice by a mysterious voice, and the third time his 
brother also heard it. The voice pronounced distinctly 
the name of Paul. Moved by a dark presentiment, for 
the country was denuded of inhabitants, the brothers hast- 
ened to return home, where they found a telegram telling 
them that their sister had grown worse and that she was 
dying. 

" Paul L. and his mother set out at once with post-horses. 
On their way, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, M. L. saw 
the form of his sister suddenly glide by him and brush against 
him as she passed through the carriage. 

" He then had a firm conviction that she had died at the 
moment when her form appeared to him, and that in the 
morning she had several times summoned him to her dying 
bed. 

"Other details might be noticed. When they returned 

132 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



home they faund that the clock had stopped at the exact 
hour of their sister's death, and that her picture had fallen 
at the same time. The portrait had been carefully nailed to 
the wall, but it had fallen without pulling out the nail. 

*^M, L., whose address I can give yon if you wish it, can 
certify that these facts are the exact truth. 

>"V. MOURAVIEFF. 
"Saint Petersburg, Mnrdi 18-30, 189^." 
Letter 498. 
CXXIV. (A) "It was December, 1875. My father had 
gone to hia bed, from which he was never again to rise. He 
had been sick a longtime, but he kept on hia feet and moved 
about, fancying he might deceive death so long as he did not 
keep his bed* I was sitting near him, and I saw, with grief, 
the first signs of his approaching dissolution. No person in 
the family had as yet been summoned. 

^'Suddenly one of my uncles came into the room^ dressed 
^_in his working-clothes, and said to me, in a choked voice : 
^B *« 'la my brother very ill?' 
^m <f 'You can see for yourself/ 

" " 'Just think — a little while ago, when I was putting the 
plough away for the night, I seemed to see your father walk- 
ing slowly, as he always does, with his hand on his heart — on 
the place where it pains htm. He turned towards me and 
said : "Christopher, it is all over with me, go to our house,'* 
I was very much frightened, and called to Jules: '*Your 
uncle ! Don't you soo your uncle?" ** Why, papa," he said, 
''you are dreaming- There is no one here." 

*' 'If that is so,' I replied, 'go and tell your mother I am 
not coming home, I am going to D,, to my brother's," 

■I "This was about G o'clock in the evening. The next day 
-ftt 5 o'clock my father was dead," 

(B) '* The second thing I have to report happened in August, 
1889. My wife and I were at supper* I was very sad — I had 
just lost my mother. Suddenly a man came in and told my 
wife that her mother was very ill, and that she must go to her 
at once. He had a carriage. 

138 



THE UNKNOWN 

*'Next day I got word that my mother-in-law was worse, 
and that I mnst come immediately. 

^'I was abont to start when I was seized with a violent at- 
tack of neurasthenia. It was impossible for me to move, and 
I sank into a state something like coma. 

" I saw nothing, but I knew I was yonder in the midst of 
a family in tears near the bed of the dying woman, and I heard 
a voice saying: 

" ^ Is he not coming, Emilie P 

^* Then came another voice, the voice of the dying woman: 
' He can^t come, poor fellow ; he is ill. And then, after all, 
what would be the use?' 

"An hour after I got the sad despatch: ^ Mamma is just 
dead.* Dr. E. CiijMENT. 

"Montreux." 

Letter 502. 

CXXVI. " My brother-in-law, Jung, was one day with his 
father, his brother-in-law Ganzhirt, and a friend of the lat- 
ter, named Sohnlein, in an arbor in their garden. Jung was 
about twelve ; Ganzhirt and Sohnlein, twenty-two and twen- 
ty-four. They were all in good health. Sohnlein said to 
them, ^ When I die I mean to come and appear to you in this 
very place.' 

" Four months later, as my brother-in-law Jung was study- 
ing his lessons in this arbor, he heard a noise as if a tree 
were shaken violently, and saw plums drop oflF from a plum- 
tree and fall near him. As he could see no one, he was 
seized with fear, closed his books, and went into the house. 
Soon after some one came to tell him that Sohnlein was 
dead. V. Sohaeffbr Blanck. 

**HuiiiDgue.*' 

Letter 504 

CXXVII. "I have not myself experienced any impressions 
of the kind that form the object of your questions. But a 
person in my family had a great impression made on her, 
under the circumstances of the following narrative : 

" Her father lived at Bayonne. She was at Concordia, in 

134 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

• South America. Ou the 5th of March, 1889, at seven o'clock 
io the morning, she was lying in bed, but wide awake, when 
she thought ehe saw her father at the foot of the bed look- 
ing at her sadly* At that very moment her father had been 
stricken by paralysis of the brain, and he died on the 31gt, 
twenty-six days afterwards. Bonnome, 

*' Principal Clerk m n Government Office at Mestaganem," 
Letter 505. 

CXXVIII. '' Allow me to call your attention to a circum- 
"stance which seems to me very curious. In the first place, it 
^decided my future life, and, besides that, its circumatanceB 
vere not ordinary ones. 

*'In 18G7 (I w^ibfl then twenty^fivG) on December 17th, I 
went to bed. It was nearly eleven o'clock, and as I un- 
di'saaed I sat down and began thinking* My thoughts were 
fixed on a young girl I had met during my hist vacation at 
the sea- bath of Trouville. My family knew hers quite inti- 
mately, and Martha and I became very fond of eiich other. 
I Our marriage was on the eve of being arranged when our two 
f families quarrelled, and it had to be given up. Martha went 
to Toulouse, and I returned to Grenoble. But we contin- 
ued to love each other so sincerely that the young girl re- 
fused other offers for her hand. 

" That evening, December 17, 1867, I was thinking about 
[all this, when the door of my room opened softly, and, almost 
[noiselessly, Martha entered* She was dressed in white, with 
her hair streaming over her shoulders. Eleven o'clock struck 
— this I can confidently assert, for I was not sleeping. The 
vision drew near me, leaned lightly over me, and I tried to 
seize the young girFs hand. It was icy cold. I uttered a cry, 
the phantom disappeared, and I found myself holding a glass 
of cold water in my hand. This may have given me the sen- 
sation of cold.^ ^ But, observe, I was not asleep, and the glass 



' A sup<ii'ficial examioation miglit tend to prove that this waa an liallu- 
cination — tliat is, ihat it was the work of the imaginatloD. But tele- 
pathic itif tience is much more probable. Tliis instance Ib like that ixL 
iCXXIL 

tm 



THE UNKNOWN 

of water had been standing on the talle de nuii at my side. 
I could not sleep that night. On the evening of the next day I 
heard of the death of Martha, at Toulouse, the night iefore, at 
eleven. Her last word had been, * Jacques !' 

'^ This is my story. I may add that I have never married. 
I am an old bachelor, but I think constantly of my vision. It 
haunts my sleep. Jacques G. 

" Grenoble/' Letter 510. 

CXXIX. " I had had a little girl friend during my child- 
hood. Her name was H61ene. I loved her dearly. Her 
father, who was in government employ, was removed to Paris, 
and we had to be parted, which caused both of us great re- 
gret. Before they left Helene came and brought me her 
photograph ; she put it herself into an empty frame on a little 
table in my room, and we promised to write often to each 
other — a promise which we kept. 

'^ The air of the capital was injurious to my poor Helene, 
who had always been delicate. She grew more and more ail- 
ing, and soon I heard that she was in a consumption. Prom 
that moment, and witho^t letting her know what I was doing, 
I closely watched the progress of her illness. One day I re- 
ceived a letter from her that was very gay — she was much 
better. She hoped to come and spend the summer with me. 
This sudden improvement frightened me at first, and then I 
said to myself that, after all, it was possible H616ne might 
get well. 

'' The next day, April 15, 1896, I felt uneasy all day. I 
was still finishing my studies. In the evening, after dinner, 
I went to my room, and was bending over a problem in 
geometry, on which I had great difficulty in fixing my at- 
tention. Helene's photograph was near me, standing always 
on the spot where she had placed it, and my eyes were con- 
tinually upon it. 

*^ Suddenly I saw the face in the photograph raise its eye- 
lids. The mouth opened as if she were going to speak. A 
noise at this moment made me start. It was my clock strik- 
ing eight. I fancied I must have been dreaming. I rubbed 

136 



'ATHIC C( 



[MTJNICATIONS 



my eyes and looked again. This time I distinctly saw the 
face move its lips, then it opened its eyes, then closed them 
slowly, opened them and closed them again with a deep 
Bigh/ 

'* I dared no longer look at the photograph* I picked op 
my lamp and went to bed, early as it was, and I tried, bnt in 
vain, to go to sleep. 

'' Abont ten o'clock I heard a startling ring at the front 
door. I called out to my parents who had gone to bed. It 
was a despatch containing these words : * H^dene died this 
evening at eight o'clock.' 

■ " Next day the first train took me to Paris with my father. 
I was anxious to be present at the funeral of my dear one^ 
and also to hear particulars concerniog her last moments. I 
heard that on the day of her death she had been talking of 
me continnallyp She had even said : ■ Perhaps Valentine is 
looking at my photograph at this moment. He thinks I am 
getting better, but I know I am going to die.^ A few mo* 
ments before her last she begged I should receive news of 
her death immediately, and that they would send me her fare- 
well. Her last word was my name. 

" Others may explain this as they will, but I am qnite snre 
that I was not under an illusion. I never took any interest 
in apparitions, and my health was entirely normal. 

*' Valentine C. 

"RoanDe.'* 

Letter M%. 

CXXX. *^ One of my college friends (I am a woman doctor) 
went out to India as a medical missionary. We lost sight of 
each other, as often happens, still we were sincerely attached 
to each other. 

■ One morning — it was the night between October 28th and 
29th (I was then at Lausanne) — I was awakened at six o'clock 
by some little knocks on my door. My bedroom opened on 



* Let me once more repeat that all this was not real. It was an im- 
pression OD the tad's bra in by the girl who was dying, See also easea 



.,XLIX.,and CXX. 



187 



THE UNKNOWN 

a corridor, from which there was a staircase leading to an- 
other story. I nsed to leave my door ajar for the accommoda- 
tion of a great white cat I then had, who liked to go out 
hunting during the night (the house swarmed with mice). 
The knocks were repeated. The night-bell had not rung, 
and I had heard no one come up the stairs. 

" By chance my eyes lighted on my cat, who was occupy- 
ing his usual place at the foot of my bed. He was sitting up, 
with his fur bristling, trembling and growling. The door 
was shaken as if by a slight gust of wind, and I saw a figure 
wrapped in a kind of white gauze, like a veil over some black 
material. I could not distinctly see the face. She drew near 
me. I felt a cold shiver pass over me ; I heard the cat growl 
furiously. Instinctively I shut my eyes, and when I reopened 
them all had disappeared. The cat was trembling all over 
and was covered with sweat. » 

" I must own that no thought of my friend in India oc- 
curred to me. I was thinking of another person. But 
about a fortnight later I learned that my friend, on the night 
of the 19th to the 20th of October, had died at Srinaghar in 
Cashmere. I heard afterwards that the cause of her death 
was peritonitis. Marie de Thilo, M.D. 

** Saint Junien, Switzerland." 

Letter 514. 

CXXXI. '* I was one morning in my dining-room ; no one 
but a servant and myself were there. We were both busied 
with household affairs. My servant was dusting a table and 
had her back turned towards me. I was fixing some things 
on another table which stood between us. Everybody else in 
the house was asleep, for it was very early in the morning, so 
that the most profound silence reigned in the house. Sud- 
denly we heard a noise which seemed like that of a heavy 
bird slowly alighting, after several times beating its wings. 
Something seemed to pass between us through the middle of 
the room. We both were startled. The servant turned 



^ This experience with animals is not unique. See cases XXIX. and 
CLXXVII. It is worthy of attention. 

138 



OP TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

round qaickly, letting the featlier-clnster she was holding 
Irop from her hand, and she looked at me with every sign of 
right. I stood motionless, stnpetied uud silent. After a 
few secondsj when I had somewhat recovered from my aston- 
ishment, I sprang to the window and looked out. There was 
a court-yard outside, in which I could see nothing which 
might have caused the noise. Wishing, above all things, to 
find an explanation, I opened two doors. One led into a ves- 
tibule, the other into an imoccupied bedchamber. I searched 
everywhere. Nothing — nothing anywhere. Then, without 
saying more about it, I sent to hear how a lady was in whom 
I took much interest, and who I had left the night before on 
her death-bed. It was only a short distance from my house. 
When the servant got back she snid : 'She died this morn* 
ing at half-past six.' It was then seven. 

'*The strange noise occurred exactly at the moment of her 
death. Madame B. 

"^^^^^^•" Letter 5ia 

CXXXII. (A) "In the winter of 1870-71 I found myself 
one evening alone with my mother and grandmother, who 
had left Saiut-Etienne some days before to come and spend a 
month with us, her daughter and her granddaughter. She 
had left her son Pierre, a man of thirty-five, sUghtly indiS' 
posedy the result of a chill. She was not the least uneasy 
about him, and having planned to make the Journey some 
time before, she had come on as she proposed and had 
joined us at Marseilles. 

" One evening we had just gone to bed, I in the same room 
with my grandmother, and mamma in another chamber, when 
a violent ringing made us Jump in onr beds. It was eleven 
o^clock at night, I got up and met my mother at the door. 
She had also got up to learn who had rung. We stood, both 
^of us, in the vestibule, and called out several times : 'Who is 
^here ?' Without getting any answer (and without opening 
the door) we went hack into our rooms and went to bed, 
ly grandmother had stayed in bed, and I found her sitting 
up and a little alarmed when she found we had had no answer, 

139 



THE UNKNOWN 

'^ Hardly had we composed onrselves after this when the 
bell rang again^ more loudly and insistently than the first 
time. Again we were disturbed. 

"This time, indeed, I sprang up with the yivacity of a 
child of fourteen (I was then fourteen years old) and I reached 
the front door before my mother. I asked who was there. 
There was no answer. We opened the door, we looked up and 
down the staircase, we examined the floors above and below — 
there was nobody anywhere. We came back to our rooms 
very uneasy, with heavy hearts, now expecting to hear of 
some misfortune, and after a sleepless night for my mother 
and grandmother (though I went to sleep, for I was at an age 
when one can sleep through anything), we received in the 
evening of that exciting day the following telegram : ' Pierre 
died last night at eleven o'clock. Tell mamma. Prepare her 
for this sad news.' 

(B) "In 1884, the year of the cholera at Marseilles, I left 
for Bagneres-de-Bigorre and Bareges, with my husband and my 
two children. I had been there about a week, staying at the 
Hotel de TEurope. One night I was rudely awakened by 
no apparent cause. My chamber, where I slept alone, was 
perfectly dark. As I got out of bed I saw a figure standing 
upright, surrounded by a circle of light. I gazed at it, a good 
deal moved as you may imagine, and I recognized my hus- 
band's brother-in-law, a doctor, who said : ' Warn Adolphe — 
tell him I am dead.' I at once called my husband, who was 
sleeping in the next room, and said to him : * I have just seen 
your brother-in-law. He told me he was dead.' 

*' The next day a telegram confirmed the news. An attack 
of cholera (contracted while attending patients who were 
poor) had carried him oflE in a few hours. 

"There was not in the whole world a man more full of 
sympathy, or more devoted to his patients. 

"H. PONCEB. 
*415 Rue Paradis, Marseilles." 

Letter 522. 

CXXXIV. "M. Rigagnon, cure in the Parish of Saint- 
Martial of Bordeaux, being in his room engaged in writing, 

140 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



saw before him his brother who lived in the colonies, and %yho 
said to him^ 'Adieiij I am di/ingr M. Eigagoon, much 
moved, called in his vicars (his assistant clergy), and told 
them what he had just seen. These gentlemen wrote down 
the day and the hour of the apparitiouj and some time after 
news of the broth er^s death arrived. It coincided exactly 
rith the date at which he had appeared to M* Eigagnon, 
Chis fact was related to me by one of the vicars who wrote 
down an account of it as soon as it occurred. 

»"E, Bedouin. 
•' Eeaur, near Jouziic (Cliarente Inferkure.)" 
Letter 524. 
CXXXV. ''My grandfather lived in a chStean, which was 
very lonely, in the midgt of woods ; but this chateau was a 
modern buildings and had nothing mysterious about it — no 
legends ; not even the ' ghost,' indispensable to the reputa- 
tion of an old castle. My grandfather's sister had married a 
doctor in a neighboring village. 

'* At the moment the thing took place that I am going to 
relate my grandfather was absent. His brother-in-law, the 
doctor being seriously ill, lie had gone off in the evening, 
begging my grandmother, my mother, three of my aunts, 
and my two uncles not to expect him back that night, for, 
unless be found his brother-in-law better, he would not come 
home. 

*^ Xotwithstandiug this, and because the return of one of 
my uncles was expected (I thiok from Cochin-China, where 
he had served in a campaign), all the family was sitting up 
talking in the dining-room. The night passed rapidly, no 
one was fatigued, when at two o'clock every one in the dm- 
ing-room (among them my uncles, two sceptical soldiers, but 
very courageous men) distinctly heard the door of the salon, 
the next room, slammed with a violence that made them 
jump in their chairs. (I apeak of the door which separates 
the salon from the passage opposite to the dining-room.) 
There was no mistake about it ; the door that was closed in 
this manner, or at least the door that my family heard close, 

141 



THE UNKNOWN 

was close to them. It was the noise of a door in the honse^ 
not a front door. My mother has told me often : ' We 
heard the door close as if a fierce gust of wind had entered 
the house and blown it to.' This gust of wind (absolutely 
without reality^ as you will see presently) had iat least this 
much real about it that my kinsfolks : some more^ some lesS; 
felt a sort of cold sweat on their faces as it passed them^ 
such as they might have felt in a nightmare. Conversation 
stopped. The noise of the door seemed strange to them, and 
gave them all an uneasiness they could not have explained. 
Soon one of my uncles began to laugh at the piteous faces 
of his mother and sisters. At once an amusing search was 
organized. One uncle, a man of tried courage, took the 
lead. A comical procession was organized from the dining- 
room to the salon. They first examined the door of the 
salon, which every one of them had certainly heard close 
with a loud noise; but, behold ! it was locked and bolted ! 
The family in Indian file went through the chS-teau. All 
the doors were closed, the outside doors were chained, all 
the windows were shut, no current of air through the 
house had disturbed or blown anything. There was nothing 
to explain how a door very near them could have been 
shut so violently by a gust of wind. 

" My grandfather came home the next morning, and told 
them that his brother-in-law was dead. * At what hour did 
he die V they asked him. ^At two in the morning.' 'At 
two V ' Two o'clock precisely.' The noise of the door had 
been heard by seven persons exactly at that hour of the 
morning. 

"Rene Gautier, 
" Student preparing for his baccalaureate degree at Buckingbam, 
**St. John's Royal School, England." 
Letter 525. 

CXXXVI. *^One of my friends, M. Dubreuil, in whose 
word I place absolute trust, told me the following circum- 
stance : 

"His father-in-law, M. Corbeau, superintendent of the 
Fonts et Chausseee, attached to the Department of the Navy, 

142 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



id been sent some time before to Tonquin to overlook cer* 
tain works. His wife liad accompanied liim. 

*'Ono day, in the afternooHj my friend's wife saw her 
mother's figure pass between her and her son's cradle. The 
child was asleep at the moment in his mother^'a chamber, but 
he woke up at once, calling for hia grandmother as if he saw 
her at the foot of his bed. Madame Dobrenil at once had a 
presentiment that her mother, Madame Corbeau, must be 
dead. And indeed her death had taken place that very day 
on board the steamer which was bringing her back to France. 
She was buried at Singapore. 

"I can, if yon wish, get yon the exaet date of her decease, 
and the name of the steamer on which it took place. 

^'M. HAK-lfAIS. 
•* 10 AveDUC Lagaclie, ViUemoml>le (Seine)/* 
Letter 537. 

CXXXVII. "In Jnly, 1887, when I was nineteen, I 
found myself at Toulon, serving my time as a volunteer in 
the Sixty-first Eegiment of tlie line, quartered in the barracks 
of the Jen de Paiime. I had a brother named Gabriel, whom 
I dearly loved ; he was ten years okler than I was, and was a 
draughtsman at the Ministry of Wan He was, however, very 
ill at Vauvert, where, having had a furlough, he was at home 
at the time with hia parents. I had been to see him in June, 
and, although his condition was bad, I did not think it sori- 
ons. During the night of the 3d and 4th of July, about one 
d" clock in iho fnoniiJiff^ I started up awake, with my pillow wet 
with tears, having a certainty— a conviction — that my poor 
brother was dead. This conviction could not have been a 
dream, otherwise, sooner or later, I should have recalled my 
dream, which I never did. 

" As I write these lines the memory of those nnhappy 
moments comes vividly before mc. Being awake I lit my 
caudle, which I kept under my bolster, and set it on a gar- 
bage-box that stood near, for I often studied my class-books 
in bed. I was then a corporal, which gave me the privilege 
of having this rude, fool-Bmelling table de nuit. Forgive me 
jfor writing you such details. I do so that yon may see how 

143 




THE UNKNOWN 

exact I am^ and may so test my veracity. I ascertained that 
it was then one o^clock in the morning. I could not go to 
sleep, and at half-past five, when I went on parade, I asked 
the postmaster, without remembering that the telegraph-office 
was not open at Vauvert at that early hour, if there was not 
a despatch for me. I asked the same question when parade 
was over, and again was answered no. But at the moment I 
was entering my quarters, and was unbuckling my cartridge- 
belt, a man on guard brought me the following despatch, sent 
by my father : ^Gabriel is dead. Come home at once. Cour- 
age.' Thanks to the kindness of my captain I was able to 
take the train at 2.18. On reaching Vauvert I learned that 
my brother had died during the night — that is, at one o'clock 
in the morning. 

" My grief brought on a few days later trouble in my brain, 
and ever since I have been seriously ill at the same time in 
the year with the same thing. Gamille Obekgo, 

" Expert in the Law Courts at Nimes." 
Letter 586. 

CXXXVIII. " I have heard the following circumstance 
related by a person with whom I was at sea on the Melpomene, 
and whose word inspires me with full confidence (M. Jochond 
du Plessix, the lieutenant on the vessel). 

"About six or seven years before, being an ensign on board 
ship, and ordered to Senegal, he was allowed a few days' leave 
to visit his parents, who were inhabiting a villa in the neigh- 
borhood of Nantes. As he went along the principal garden 
walk which led up to the villa, he had a clear vision of a 
coffin coming down the walk towards him. That evening his 
mother died suddenly in the villa. There had been no reason 
whatever to expect her death. Nores, 

*' Purser's Mate in the Navy, 
Ou board the frigate Melpomene, at Brest." 
Letter 587. 

CXXXIX. (A) " One night, about one o'clock, we were 
awakened, Martha and I, by a most unaccountable noise in 
our chamber, a noise as if some one had been dragging chains 

144 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



'over the floor. I got up aod found nothing nnuanal in the 
apartment. 

"The next morning mj parents, and another person who 
slept on the ground-floor, asked me why there had been such 
a racket during the night in our part of the house. 
** So the noiee was certainly heurd by five persons. 
** The same day, during the forenoon, some one came to 
inform us that a cousin, w]io had been suddenly taken ill, 
ad died during the night. 

(B) ^' Two years ago, about five o'clock in the morning, T\'e 
were still in bed, when we were awakened by three little 
knocks, rapped very distinctly. 

** We had au aunt suffering from nervous prostration^ and 
our first thought waa that she might be dead. A quarter of 
an hour afterwards, perhaps, there was a ring at the front 
door, and a message to tell us that this aunt was dying. 
Before we could get to her house she was dead. 

" These communications from the dying I will supplement 

by a case of telepathy of another kind, but it is quite certain. 

^^ (0) *'Camil!e was at the Lycee (or high scliool) at Chau- 

^"inont. About five in the morning his mother woke up and 

said to me, 'I hear Camille crying ; he is calUug me.' To 

which I answered, *You are dreaming/ But next day we 

received a letter to say that the poor child had been awake 

all night cryiug with toothache. 

^^ "Tour affectionate cousin, 

^V *' Habert-Bollke, 

^B ' ' Nogcnt ( Haute-]ykrnc] . ' ' 



Letter 538. 



CXLII. (A) " My mother being in lier kitchen busy mak- 
ing ready some repast, saw the figure of her mother (my 
grandmother) pass several times before her, though she had 
not seen her for some years. Next day a letter informed 
her, not that her mother waa dead, but that she was dying. 
She reached her just in time to close her eyes* 

(B) ** My mother, while nnrsiag me about two o'clock in the 
aorning, saw my paternal grandfather in a comer of her 
'chamber, and at the same time heard a noise like that made 

145 



THE UNKNOWN 

by something heavy when it falls hito water. Much troubled^ 
she woke my father, who, not attaching any importance to 
her vision, went to sleep again. Some hours after they re- 
ceived a telegram saying that my grandfather had been 
drowned while stepping into or out of his boat. He had 
left home a little before, or a little after, two o'clock on that 
morning. SiHON. 

** 40 Rue MuUer, Paris." 

Letter 542. 

CXLIV. " In 1835 my grandparents lived on a country 
place at Saint Meurice, near Bochelle. 

"My father, the eldest of his family, had been a sub- 
lieutenant in Algeria, where he had passed ten years of 
danger and fatigue in the first years of the conquest. 

" Enthusiasm for danger, and the spirit roused by the ac- 
counts contained in his letters, inspired his brother Camille 
with a wish to join him. He disembarked at Algiers, as a 
non-commissioned officer, in April, 1835, soon after joined 
my father at Oran, and took part in an expedition against 
Abd-el-Kader at the end of June. 

^ The French were obliged to retreat on Arzew, and lost 
many men in crossing the swamps of Macta. My uncle re- 
ceived three gun-shot wounds, though not severe ones. But 
in the bivouac a French soldier cleaning his gun let it go 
oflE, and his ball struck my uncle in the thigh. He had to 
submit to an operation. When it was over he died of a 
spasmodic seizure. 

" Communication in those days was slow with Algeria, and 
my grandmother had heard none of these things. Accord- 
ing to a very common fashion at this period she had on the 
chimney-piece of her reception-room, ati premier, a very 
handsome coffee set of porcelain, arranged for ornament. 

*^ Suddenly, in broad daylight, there was a tremendous 
crash in that room. 

^' My grandmother and her maid rushed up, and great was 
their astonishment at the spectacle that awaited them. All 
the pieces that composed the coffee-service lay in fragments 
on the floor in a heap on one side of the chimney, as if they 

146 



i 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

had been swept op in that direction. My grandmother was 
terrified, and felt sure that some miaf ortune was at hand. 

** The room was carefully searched, but none of the sng- 
gestions made to my grandmother^ in hopes of reassuring her, 
seemed to her admissible — tk gust of wind^ a rush of rats, or 
a cat shut up in the room by some mischance, etc. . . , The 
apartment had been completely closed, so that there couhl 
have been no cnrrent of air. Neither cat nor rats would 
have broken the china, and then gathered into one heap on 
the floor the fragments of a service that had been set out 
all along the chimney*piece. 

** There was no one in the house but my grandfather, 
grandmother, and their maid. 

" The first post from Africa brought news to my grand- 
parents of the death of their son, which happened on the 
very day the coffee-set was broken,* 

'^J. Meyer* 

*Niort." 

Letter 549. 






OXLV. "Here is an extraordinary and authentic fact 
which I received from a source that can be perfectly relied 
on. My parents were one day summoned to the bedside of a 
neighbor who was dying. They went, and found themselves 
the midst of a large circle of friends and neighbors who 
rere awaiting the sad end in silence. Suddenly a clock upon 
the wall, which had not been running for years, gave forth 
'inost clear and startling sounds — ear-spHtting sounds, like 
those struck by a human on an anvil* All present rose up 
in alarm. What did the strange noise mean? ^You may 
know what it means/ said one of those present, meaning that 
death was about to claim the dying man, who drew his last 

(breath shortly after. H, Faber. 

I ''Agricultural Professor at Bissea (Luxembourg),'* 

I Letter 555. 

I * These tbiogs are not always subjective — no I alwa3'^8 a cerebral iin- 
prefision that baa been made> Bee, for instance, XXIX., XXXVI., 
XCV-, CXXIIL. CXXVI., CXXX., CXXXIL, CLIV., CLY., CLXVI., 
CLXXU.. CLXXVIL. and CLXXX. 
L 147 



THE UNKNOWN 

CXLVI. "A gentleman of my acquaintance some time 
ago told me some circumstances relative to the death of his 
mother. It was one Sunday and at church-time. She left 
him to attend divine service, apparently as well as usual. An 
hour after he went out to see one of his friends who lived in 
the same street. As he drew near the house he saw in the 
sky what looked like a great gold cross, and at the same time 
his heart was so filled with poignant anguish that he did not 
care to go and see his friend, and turned to go home. He 
had walked a few hundred yards when he was stopped by a 
lady he knew, who said to him, ' Have you seen your mother? 
I hope she has only had a fainting-fit, but they took her out 
of church.' 

'^ He hastened home. His mother was dead. 

^'0. Lekqlbt. 

"Mittau(Courland)." 

Letter 566. 

OXLVII. "My father, who died last June, has many 
times told me the following experience, which gave rise be- 
tween him and me to many discussions. 

'* When he was young he lived at Ohampsecret in the Ome. 
He was employed in a brick-yard, and at night two men were 
always on watch there. 

'* One night, when he was doing duty for a sick friend and 
was quietly talking to the other watchman, he distinctly 
heard steps coming straight up the road and then turning 
into the side road that led to the brick kilns. 

'^ He and his comrade looked at each other, rather alarmed. 
At first they dared not speak. They were under the impres- 
sion that a man had passed and brnshed against them. Then 
again they heard steps, but this time the steps seemed going 
away, and their idea was that the other watchman, who was 
ill, and whose place my father had taken, was dead. They 
thought they recognized his walk. 

" The next morning they heard of the man's death during 
the night; it took place at a time exactly corresponding to 
that in which the footsteps had been heard. 

" My mother could certainly tell me the name of the dead 

148 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

man and that of the man who was on watch with my father^ 
if it is any object for you to know them* 

'*EUG, BOHHOHMK, 
** 09 Avenue Par men tier (Paris)." 

Letter mO. 

CXLVIIL ^^When I was six years old I lived in a honse 
on the Swiss side of the Jura. I had been asleep some hoars 
when I was awakened (my father, my mother, and my four 
sisters^ too) by a very loud voice calling my father, Florian, 
A second call was not so loud, and a third was almost a whis- 
per. My father said, ' It is the voice of Ronaud ' (a friend 
of his living in Paris), and, rising, he went to open the front 
door. But no one was there. The newly fallen snow showed 
no trace of any footsteps. A short time after my father re- 
ceived a letter telling him that his friend Eenaud had been 
run over by an omnibus, and that, as he was dying, he had 
several times pronoiinced his name. 

"Jh. Jukod. 

'*0des3tt/* 

Letter 50SS. 

CXLIX. ** My maternal grandfather, Frau^ois M., was born 

at Saint , died at A , 1882, at the age of eighty. He 

was in Paris in his youth, where he worked as a journeyman 
tailor in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-IIonore. As well as I 
Ein remember, he was awakened one night at eleven o*clock 
by three very distinct knocks on the door of his chamber. 
Much astonished, he got up, lit a lamp, opened the door, and 
saw no one. Thinking that some practical joker had roused 
him, he went to bed again cursing the fellow who had played 
him the trick ; but three other knocks were now heard on 
the door. He started up, intending to make the man who 
had roused him pay dear for his joke, but, look where he 
would, in the passage and up and down the staircase, he 
could not find out where the fellow had disappeared. A 
third time, having once more got into bed, he heard the three 
taps as formerly at his door. This time a presentiment led my 
grandfather to suppose that it might be his mo therms spirit, 
though nothing in any news he had received made him aware 

14d 



THE UNKNOWN 

that she was ill. Fire or six days after this manifestation a 
letter reached him from his natire village telling him of his 
mother's deaths which took place at the precise hour when 
he had heard the knocking. 

" His mother, who had an especial affection for him, as 
she was dying asked to have a gown laid upon her bed, that 
her ^gar^on de Paris' had sent her as a present some little 
time before. E. Deschaux. * 

"Abretz(l8Sre)." 

Letter 595. 

CL. " My mother-in-law's father had among his work-peo- 
ple a good-for-nothing fellow, whom he was obliged to dis- 
charge, saying to him as he did so, ^You will end on the 
gallows.^ 

^' A year or two after he left (I cannot fix the exact date) 
my wife's grandfather found himself with his family. One 
morning when at the breakfast-table he turned round sud- 
denly and asked, ' Who is there ? What does he want of 
me?' 

" The family, much surprised by the questions, and not 
knowing what he might mean, asked an explanation. ' Some 
one,' he said, ' came and with a loud voice told me, ^' Adieu, 
master."' But none of the other persons present hoard these 
words. 

" Five or six hours later my wife's grandfather heard that 
the workman he had dismissed had been found hanging to a 
limb of a tree near the city. 

'^ Here is the fact as it was told to me. My mother-in-law 
remembers it perfectly. I can guarantee its authenticity. 

^* I suppose that at the moment the rope was passed round 
his neck the man remembered what his former master had 
said to him, and, quitting life, had sent his patron a fare- 
well, which he had received at the moment of the man's dis- 
solution. 

^' This happened at Mulhouse, my native town, in 1854 or 
or 1855. Emile Steffan. 

•' Eiisheim. The Palatinate." 

Letter 609. 
150 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



CLI* "I was then ten or eleven years old. I am now 
lirty-fonr and four months. I lived with my father and 
fiother at the house of my eider brothei% cure of a little vil- 
lage near Pont Saint- Esprit (Gard). At that time in my 
life I had a real passion for birds. Now, one evening after 
dinner as I was going to bed I said to my motherj who was 
holding my hand : 

^Listen, mamma, I hear a big bird in the cellar; let ns 
|o down and catch him.' 

^Now to get to our bedrooms we had to go up a stair- 
case, at the foot of which was a door leading to the cellar. 

'* ' You are mistaken/ she said. 

*' ^I am not mistaken. It certainly is a big bird/ I aaid> 
)ut I did not insist on going down. 

" The next evening at the same hour, as I was going to 
bed, I beard the same bird in the cellar. The same cry 
pierced my childish earsj bnt again my mother said I was 
mistaken, 

'* This time, inspired by my love for birds, I insisted ; I was 
resolved to have my way, and pulled my mother by the hand, 
until at last, against her inclination, she yielded to my mu- 
tinous will. 

'* We went down into the cellar, my mother and I (she 
constrained to do so by my caprice). The cellar was more 
properly the cellars, for there were several of them running 
inder the whole of the rectory. We went into them one 
after the other, the cry of a great bird being all the time 
heard distinctly, but it changed from one place to another. 
Sometimes it seemed to come from under tlie pile of fagots, 
sometimes it was behind the barrels* 

** I let go my mother's hand and ran after the sound ; I saw 
no bird, nor did I hear the flutter of its wings, nor any noise 
that he made by his flight. My mother, greatly frightened, 
for she was naturally superstitious, seized my hand again and 
made me go np-stairs. 

" By post the next morning my uncle, the cttrey received a 
letter telling him of the death of one of our uncles, and my 
mother exclaimed, instantly, 'The big bird that Louis heard 

151 



THE UNKNOWN 

yesterday and the day before was the soul of your uncle come 
to remind you of his mass.' For my brother, as soon as he 
heard of the death of any of his relations, always said a mass 
for their souls. 

" My brother and I both laughed at my poor mother^s ex- 
planation, and no more was ever said about the big bird. 

''Louis Tailhaud, 

*' Cure of Colombiers." 
^ Letter 610. 

>^ 

CLII. ''One of my cousins was seriously ill of typhoid 

fever. His father and mother did not leave his pillow, watch- 
ing over him night and day. But one evening, both being 
quite worn out, the sick-nurse insisted on their taking a little 
rest, promising to come and tell them if there was the least 
change. They slept heavily a short time, and^ then were sud- 
denly awakened by the door of their room being opened 
softly. My uncle called out, ' Who is there T My aunt, 
sure that she was sent for, started up at once ; but as soon as 
she was seated on her bed, she felt some one hugging her 
close, and saying, '// i% /, mother. I am going; but don't cry. 
Adieu.' And the door was closed again very gently. As 
soon as she could recover from her emotion, my aunt ran into 
her son^s room, which her husband had reached before her. 
There she learned that my cousin had breathed his last just an 
instant before.yy M. Ackeret. 

"Algiers." // uttevm. 

CLIII. " I think it is my duty to mention to you a case 
which came under my own notice in 1886, when I was a lieu- 
tenant at Saint Louis, in Senegal. One evening, after some 
hours passed in the society of some good fellows and gay 
comrades, I went to bed about eleven. In a few minutes I 
was asleep. Suddenly I felt something press hard upon my 
chest, and I was roughly shaken. I rose upon my elbow, 
rubbing my eyes, for there before me stood my grandmother, 
an excellent woman, who was looking at me, but it seemed 
with dim eyes. And I heard — yes, I heard — her feeble voice 
say, ' I come to say adieu to you, my dear little one. You 

152 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNIC ATIONB 



will Bee me bo more. * . / I was atupefied, and tliat I might 
make sure I was not dreaming, I called out loudly, ' Voyons ! 
It is not a dream 1^ and I got up* The apparition lasted only 
a few moments. 

** By a post that came in soon after I heard from my fam- 
ily, to whom I had written an account of this phenomenon of 
telepathy, that my grandmother, aged seventy-six, had died 
at Rochefort, lier last words had been about me. * I shall 
never see him again,^ she constantly repeated. Her death 
occurred at half-past eleven on the night when I had seen 
her, and if we take into account the difference of longitude, 
it was at the very moment when my grandmother appeared to 
me. I knew her to be mocli broken by age, and to be in poor 
health, bat I had no reason to be anxious about her. Such 
is the case, and I assure you of its rigorous exactness. 

»**JuLiEX Lagarrue, 
"Captain of Infantry in Uie Naval Brigade at Hanoi'* 
K Letter 669. 

CLIV, *' In April, 1892, 1 was employed as foreman of the 
Tforks at the glass manufactory at Saint-Gobain. I was not 
t all inclined to believe in the marvellous, and if from time 
time I heard some story which seemed to bear npon the 
Bnbject, I soppoeed it to be a case of hallucination* It there- 
fore needed the testimony of several persons, whom I ques- 
tioned separately, before I conld attach any importance to 
what follows. 

'* My wife was sitting on the threshold of a door (A)* 
which put our rooms into communication with a little ter- 
race situated on the ground-floor. On this terrace worked a 
woman who carded wool mattresses. About three o'clock 
both this woman and ray wife heard three blows distinctly 
struck on the door of a small cabinet (B) about a yard and a 
half distant from (A) our door. Very much astonished by 
this noise, which nothing seemed to jastify, as no one was in 



' A diagram was appended to tbis letter, but it is unnecessary to give 
it here, for it is perfectly explained by the account, 

153 



THE UNKNOWN 

the apartment^ they exchanged some remarks abont similar 
things which they had both heard of. The wool-carder told my 
wife that, as one of our relatives was very ill, it was probably 
his spirit, which had come to ask help from ns. The next 
day, at the same hour, they were all in the same place as they 
had been the day before ; only a maid was washing on the 
terrace. The incident of the day before had been forgotten. 
All of a sudden the three persons (my wife, the wool-carder, 
and our maid) heard the same noise, three blows struck on 
door B, the door of the cabinet. Their surprise became stu- 
pefaction; for a long time after the maid would not stay 
alone in the house. 

^'A letter the next day told us of the death of one of my 
old aunts, a very devout woman, Angelique Bertrand. She 
died at Pertuis (Vaucluse) ten days before, April 5, 1892. 

'*Arlakd. 
" 18 Rue Bleue, Marseilles." 

Letter 705. 

CLV. " I was perhaps twelve years old. My poor father, 
one of the heroes of Sidi - Brahim, had passed the night and 
part of the day by the bedside of his mother, who was dan- 
gerously ill. He had returned home. About four o'clock in 
the afternoon one of my uncles came for him, telling him that 
she was worse, and had expressed a desire to see his two lit- 
tle sons. My father wished to take us. My brother, who 
was younger than I was, was quite ready to go, but I resisted 
so stoutly that nothing could overcome my obstinacy, my 
reason being that I was very much afraid of the dead. 

''So I was left at home with my poor mother, who, after 
supper, put me to bed, where I did not want to go, being still 
afraid to be alone. Then she decided to let me sleep in her 
own bed, promising soon to come and lie beside me. 

"About half-past seven I felt a s^nart slap on my face. It 
was a slap of extraordinary violence, and I screamed. My 
mother came immediately, and asked me what ailed me. I 
told her that some one had struck me, and that my cheek 
hurt me. With that my mother examined my cheek, and 
found it very red and swollen. Very uneasy after this, my 

154 



r 

H OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

^Bother grew anxioiis for the return of my father and brother, 
PRt was not till niue o^ciock that my father came in. At once 
my mother told him what had taken place, and when she 
mentioned the houFj my father said : 

*"That was exactly the time that his grandmother 
breathed her last.* 

'* For six months I retained on my right cheek the mark of 

a right hand, the impression being yery apparent, especially 

after I had been playing, when a child's face is apt to be most 

red ; hundreds of people at that time noticed it, for the mark 

I of the hand was then white. A. Michel, 

^^L "Byer in the Factory at Valabre, oear Entraigiies (Vaucluse)." 

^^^^ Letter 714. 

■ CIiVI. " On May 31, 1895, my eldest son, who had enlisted 
as a volunteer six months before^ at Valence, in the First 
Hussars, was taking part in the military manceuTrea in the 
country, which were shared in by his regiment Being the 
foremost man of the advanced gaard, he was riding slowly, 
observing the country occupied by the supposed enemy, when 
suddenly, out of an ambush formed on the edge of a narrow 
part of the road, came a shot which struck my nnhappy son 
full in his breast. His death was almost immediate. 

"The involuntary author of this fatal accident, seeing his 
comrade drop his reins and fall forward on the neck of hia 
horse^ rushed forward to help him, and he heard the words 
the dying man nttered with hia last sigh : * You have done 

me an ill turn but I forgive you , . • , For God 

and our country always ! . • . . Present ! ! ! , , . .* and 
BO he died. 

*^Now this same day, May 13, 1895, about half-past nine 
in the evening, while my wife was bostling about her house- 
hold affairs, our little girl, then about two and a half years 
old, came up to her mother and said, in her baby -talk: 
* Mamma, look godpapa^ (my eldest was his sister's god- 
father); ' see mamma— see godpapa ! I am playing with him.' 

" * Yes, yes, my darling, play away,* said her mother, busy 
and attaching no importance to the words of the child. 

165 



THE UNKNOWN 

'' Bnt the little thing, hnrt by her mother^s indifference, 
insisted on attracting her attention, and w^ent on: 'Bnt, 
mamma, come and look at godpapa. • • • Look at him^there 
he is! Oh, how smartly he is dressed ! * 

^^Then my wife remarked that as the child spoke she 
became, so to speak, transfigured. She was excited by this 
at first, bnt soon forgot what had passed. It lasted only a 
few moments, and it was not until two or three days later that 
she remembered these details. 

*' A little before noon we received a telegram telling us of 
the terrible accident which had befallen our beloved son, and 
subsequently I learned that his death took place almost at 
eight o'clock. Rouge. 

" Villa des T. Neuls, near Salon (Boucher du Rh6ne)." 
Letter 716. 

CLVII. '^It was one evening about nine o'clock. No one 
in the house had gone to bed. My sister, who was seventeen, 
passing along the corridor, saw under a lighted gas-burner a 
tall and handsome girl whom she did not know, dressed like 
a peasant woman. The apparition alarmed her, and she 
began to scream. 

" The next morning our cook, a girl twenty-five years old, 
told my mother that about nine o'clock the night before, as 
she was going to bed, she saw before her one of her friends, 
a young peasant girl, whose description exactly corresponded 
to that of the apparition that my sister had seen. 

^^ They afterwards learned that this girl had died that same 
day. Countess AmElie Garabtdinb. 

••Parella, Italy.- Letter 751. 

CLVIII. "I was a student at the University of Kieff, and, 
though young, was already married. We went to pass the 
summer at my sister's country seat. She lived not far from 
Pskow. As we came back by way of Moscow, my adored wife 
was suddenly taken ill with influenza, and though she was so 
young she sank under it rapidly. Paralysis of the heart 
carried her off as suddenly as a flash of lightning. 

156 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

"My father was living at Pulkowo. He knew nothing of 
the illness of his charming danghter-in-law, but he knew she 
was with me at Moscow, bo that great was his surprise to see 
her standing beside Mnif as he left his honse, and for a moment 
she accompanied him, then she disappeared* Seized with 
fear and angnish, he sent ns a telegram at once to ask after 
my dear one. It was the very day of her death, , , . . 1 
shonld bo gratef ol to yon all my life if yon con Id explain this 
extraordinary circnmstaoce. Wenecian Biliowsky, 

*' Medical studcDt, 21 Niholskaja, Kieff." 
Letter 787. 



I have collected the above accounts^ which are asanredly 
nnmeronSj and which^ though they may sometimes seem 
monotononSj are really very varied. We will add a few others 
not less interesting or less Instrnctive to ns in onr research. 
It seems to ns that as we read our knowledge in this new 
branch of stndy should grow graduaUy, and with conviction, 

Madame Adam wrote on November 29, 1898, to M, Gaston 
Mery, in answer to an inquiry he was making on the subject 
of the *'Marvellou8,^^ as follows : 

CLIX* **I was brought up by my grandmother, I adored 
her. Though she was dangerously ill she would not let me 
be told of her condition, because I was then nursing my baby 
daughter, and she feared the effect a great sorrow might have 
on me. 

** One night, at ten o'clock, only a night-lamp being lighted 
in my chamber, I had been to sleep, but was awakened by my 
baby crying. As I opened mj eyes I saw mj grandmother at 
the foot of my bed, and I cried out, * What a pleasure, grand- 
mother, to see you!' She did not answer, but raised her 
hand to her eyes. Then I saw her eyes were gone, leaving 
two empty holes. 

*^I sprang out of bed and ran towards hen As I was 
about to clasp her in my arms she disappeared. My grand- 
mother had died (hat very day at eight o'clock in the evening .^^ 

M- Jules Clartie also wrote in answer to the same request, 
December 4, 1898. 

157 



THE UNKNOWN 

CLX. (A) ^* We had at Radevant, in P6rigord, an old farmer 
of my grandfather's^ named Montpezat. He came one night 
to awaken my grandfather saying: ^ Madame Pelissier is dead. 
She has just died. I have seen ?ierF 

'' Madame Pelissier was my grandfather's sister, married in 
Paris; and in those days— the days of diligences — ^it took 
four days, I think, for a letter to reach a remote part of Vhn- 
gord. Of course there were no telegraphs. When letters 
came my grandfather learned that at the same day and 
hour when Montpezat had got out of his bed, after having 
seen Madame Pelissier appear to him, my grandmother had 
died in Paris, Rue Monsieur-le-Prince." 

(B) "Here is another tradition concerning my maternal 
grandmother. 

" One of my great-uncles was a soldier, captain in the Im- 
perial Guard. His mother and his brothers lived at Kantes. 
When he came to see them he generally tapped on a window 
of the rez de chau8s6e, as much as to say, ^Here I amT 

"One evening the whole family being assembled heard 
knocks upon this window-pane. My great-grandmother got 
up joyfully, crying : ^ It is he ! He has come back from the 
army !' 

"They ran to the door. No one was there. Now at that 
very hour my great-uncle was killed by a Tyrolian chasseur 
at Wagram, one of the last shots fired on that day. I have 
his Cross of Honor, a little cross which the Emperor took 
from his own breast to give him on the field of battle, and I 
also have the letter his colonel wrote when he sent it to his 
family. 

"At that hour at Nantes, when — I know not by what 
hallucination of hearing (shared by his mother and her other 
children) — ^an invisible hand had rapped upon the window- 
pane, their absent relative fell dying at Wagram.'' 

The next narrative is that of M. Henri quet, an architect, who 
related it in presence of M. Eymar de Peyre, editor-in-chief 
of the Indipendant at Bergerac. It happened to M. Mont6- 
goiit, sub-director of the penal colony of Saint Maurice-da- 

158 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



Maroni (French Guiana), a native of Saint Alv^re, in the 
Dordogne, and an early friend and play-fellow of M, La 
Mothe-PradellGj the deputy* 

CLXII. ''On tlie 4t]i of Febrimry, 1888, M. MontSgoM 
got tip early to make his round of inspection in the colony. 
1 When he got back at breakfast time his wife said to him, 

'La Mothe^Pradelle is dead.' 

L_ *' Surprised at first by this sudden piece of news, he was 

Hkuch reassured when Madame Mont^gollt told him what fol- 

r^Iowg. In the night something had awakened her and when 

she opened her eyes she saw before her La Mothe-Pradelle, 

who pressed her hand and said, * I have just died, adieu V 

** On hearing this, M* Mont%o4t made fnn of his wife, and 
told her she had dreamed it all. She, on her part, insisted 
that she had not been asleep when the apparition appeared to 
her. 

** One or two days after, M. Mont^odt gave a dinner party 
and related the circumstances to his guests at table^ who 
made jokes at Madame Mont^goiit, hut the chief superin- 
tendent of the colony declared that he believed the appari- 
tion, and was confident that La Motbe-Pradelle was dead, 

•*The dispute was lively, and ended by one guest making a 
bet. Six or eight weeks later a copy of U hidependant of 
Bergerac arrived^ announcing that M. de La Mothe-Pradelle, 
deputy from the Dordogne, died in the night of Febrnary 
3-4, 1888." 

Such is what was told to M. Henrique t by M. MontSgotlt 
himself, and confirmed by Madame MontegoHt. 

This case, not less certain or less precise than the preced- 
ing ones, is extracted from the Annales des Sciences Psychiqties 
(1894, p. 65). Here is another, copied from the same publi- 
cation (1895, p. 200), addressed from Mont6]imar to Doctor 
Darieux, by M. Riondel, a lawyer in that city. 

CLXIIL *' I had a brother much younger than myself. (He 
died in the fortieth year of his age, on the 2d of last April,) 
He was employed oq the telegraph lines at Marseilles, and 
was agent for the Messageries Marl tunes. 

159 



THE UNKNOWN 

" With his health nndermind hy a long residence in the 
colonies, my brother had frequent attacks of malarial fever, 
of which he died in the end, though nothing could have fore- 
told so speedy and sudden an ending. 

'* On Sunday, April 1st, I received a letter from him, tell- 
ing me that his health was excellent. That night — that is 
to say, from the Sunday to the Monday — I was suddenly 
awakened by an unusual noise, very loud, as if a paving- 
stone were rolling over the bare floor of my chamber, in 
which I slept alone, and which I always locked. 

*'lt was (I made sure by looking at my watch, and by my 
alarm-clock) a quarter to two in the morning. It is needless 
to say that when I got up I searched for the thing which 
made the noise that had awakened me with a feeling of fear 
that I could not control. 

^' At eight in the morning I received a telegram from an in- 
timate friend of my brother, who lived in an apartment next 
to his, on the second story of the Bue de la B^publique, tit 
Marseilles, informing me that my brother was very ill, and 
wanted me to come to him by the first express. 

" When I reached my brother's house I learned that he 
had died during the night without suffering and without ut- 
tering a single word. 

'^I inquired of the friend in whose arms he had died, as to 
the exact moment of his death. It was at a quarter to two 
o'clock by his friend's watch that my young brother's soul 
had passed away." 

Here is another case, not less remarkable. M. Gh. Beau- 
grand wrote recently to Doctor Darieux :' 

OLXI V. ^' M. G , an officer in the merchant marine, had 

a brother with whom he was not on good terms. They had 

ceased to hold any relations with each other. M. G , 

who is a first mate, was returning from Hayti to Havre. In 
the course of the voyage, one night when he had gone to 
sleep as soon as his watch was over, he suddenly felt his ham- 
mock violently shaken, and his Christian name twice called, 

> AnndUs des Sciences Pgychiques (1879, p. 
160 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



^ Emmaimel ! EtnmanGel T He woke with a start, and thought 
at first it was a joke. Then he rememhered that, except the 
captain, no one on board knew his first name. He got np^ and 
went to ask the captain what ho knew about it. The cap- 
tain said be had never called him, and made him observe 
that he never spoke to him by liis Christian name. The 
mate went back to his hammock and fell asleep again, bnt at 
the end of a few seconds the same call was repeated, and he 
thought he recognized his brother's voice* Then he sat np, 
resolved not to go to sleep again, ^1 third tune the same 
voice called him. 

*^As soon as he was up ho sat down at his work-table, re- 
solved by hard work to get rid of the impression, but he jot- 
ted down the day and hour of the phenomenon. 

" Some days after this the ship arrived at Havre. One of the 
officer^s friends, with a troubled countenance, came onboard, 
and as soon as he saw him, before he had time to speak, the 
officer called out : * Don't tell me* I know what you have 
to say. My brother is dead. He died on such a day and 
at such an hour.^ The date given was perfectly exact. M. 
G — — 's brother had died calling on him, and expressing his 
regret that he should never see him, 

*' M. G has long been dead. This story was repeated to 

me, and separately (which is a guarantee of its correctness), 
by his two sons. One is one of the most brilliant barristers at 
Havre, the other is a lieutenant of the navy on half-pay. 
What they told me they had had from their fathers lips, and 
their testimony cannot be doubted." 

These phenomena of the appearance to pei*sons at a dis- 
tance by others at the moment of their death were, in Eng- 
land, a few years ago, the object of an independent inquiry, set 
on foot by sammin^ who maintained that the negative had 
never been proved. 

The scientific spirit of our age is right in endeavoring to 
separate such facts from the deceitful clouds of supernatu- 
ralism, because there is nothing supernatural, and nature, 
whose kingdom embraces all, is infinite. A special scientific 
society has been organized for the study of these phenom- 

L 161 



THE UNKNOWN 

ena — The Society for Psychical Besearch. It has at its head 
some of the most illnstrions savants on the other side of the 
Channel^ and has already made important publications. Big- 
orons inquiries are made to confirm or to corroborate testi- 
mony that is accepted. The variety of such testimony is 
considerable. We will turn over for an instant this collec- 
tion^ and add a little more of our own to it, facts that in 
some instances are perhaps even more remarkable. We will 
then attempt some research in the way of explanation. 

Here are some of the extraordinary cases we have bor- 
rowed from a work entitled. Phantasms of the Living, by 
Messrs. Gumey, Myers, & Todmore, translated into French 
by M. Marillier, under the title of Hallucinations Tele- 
pathiques. 

General Fytche, of the English army, wrote, on December 
22, 1885, the following letter to Professor Sedgewick, head 
of the Psychical Commission : 

CLXV. ^^An extraordinary incident which made a pro- 
found impression on my mind happened to me at Maulmain. 
I saw a phantom — I saw it with my own eyes — and in bright 
daylight. I can take my oath of it. 

" I had been most intimate with an old school-fellow, who 
was afterwards my friend at the University, but subsequent- 
ly years passed in which we did not see each other. One 
morning I got up, and I was dressing, when suddenly my old 
friend came into my chamber. I welcomed him eagerly, and 
told him to go get a cup of tea on the veranda, where I would 
join him immediately. I dressed in all haste and went out 
on the veranda, but I saw no one. I could not believe my 
eyes. 1 asked the sentinel who was on guard before the 
house, but he had seen no stranger that morning. The ser- 
vants also declared that no person had gone into the house. 
I was certain I had seen my friend. I had not been thinking 
of him at the moment, and yet I had not been much sur- 
prised to see him, for steamboats and other vessels were con- 
stantly calling at Maulmain. 

*' A fortnight after I heard of his death, six hundred miles 

102 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

from where I was^ at the very moment, or almost the same 
moment, when I had seen him at Maulmaiii." 

CLXVL "At Odessa, oa January 17, 1861, at eleven 
o'clock at night, Madame Obalechef was in bed, in excellent 
health, but not jet asleep; beside her in bed, sleeping on the 
floor, was a servant, a former serf ; in the chamber there 
burned a lamp before one of the holy pictures. Having heard 
her baby cry, she called to the servant to bring it to her, 

" ' Chancing/ she says, ' to lift my eyes to the door in front 
of me, I saw my brotber*in-law slowly enter, in slippers and 
a dressing-gown, with large plaids such as I had never seen 
him wear, Approacliing an arm-chair on which he leaned, 
he stepped over the legs of the servant who lay on the floor, 
and seated himself quietly. At this moment the clock struck 
eleven. Quite sure that I saw my brother-in-law distinctly, 
I called oat to the servant, "Do yon eee, Claudine P' 

" ' But I did not mention my brother-in-law's name. There- 
upon the servant, trembling with fright, answered me at 
once : "I see Nicholas MIovitch," (That was the name of 
my brother-in-law.) 

" ' At these words my brother-in-law got op, again stepped 
over Claud ine, and, turning, disappeared through the door 
that led into the salon.' 

'* Madame Obalechef awakened her husband, who took a 
candle and examined the apartment very carefully, but he 
found nothing unusual. She then was convinced that her 
brother-in-law, who was then residing at Tver, had Just died. 
And, in fact, his death occurred on January 17, 1861, at 
eleven o'clock in the evening. 

"As confirmation of this story wo have the written tes- 

imony of the widow of M. Nilovitch, who certifies that it all 

Jiappened in this way, and, further, that the dressing-gow^n 

Ben by her sister was exactly like one that M. Kilovitch had 

Sad made for himself a few days before his death, and which 

he had on when he died." 

CLXVII. *'In the month of September, 1867, Captain 
Wheatcroft, of the Sixth English Kegimeut of the Dragoon 

163 



THE UNKNOWN 

Guards, left for India to rejoin his regiment. His wife re- 
mained in England, at Cambridge. Towards morning of the 
night between the 14th and 15th of November, she dreamed 
that she saw her husband ill and anxious, at which she im- 
mediately awoke with her mind much excited. It was bright 
moonlignt, and as she opened her eyes she again saw her 
husband standing beside her bed. He was dressed in uni- 
form, his hands were pressed against his breast, his hair was 
in disorder, and his face pale. His great black eyes looked 
at her fixedly, and his mouth was contracted. She saw him, 
and all particulars of his clothing, as distinctly as she had 
ever seen him during her whole life; and she remembers to 
have remarked between his hands a piece of his white shirt, 
which, however, was not stained with blood. He seemed to 
lean forward with an air of suffering, and he made an effort 
to speak, but did not utter a sound. The apparition lasted 
about a minute, then it vanished. The first thought of Mrs. 
Wheatcroft was to make sure that she was awake. She 
rubbed her eyes with her sheet. Her little nephew was in 
bed with her ; she leaned over the sleeping child, and listened 
to his breathing. We need not say she slept no more that 
night. 

" The next morning she told this to her mother, and ex- 
pressed her belief that her husband was either killed or dan- 
gerously wounded, although she had seen no spots of blood 
on his garments. She was so much impressed by this appa- 
rition that after that night she refused to go anywhere. A 
young friend pressed her, some time after, to go with her to 
a concert, reminding her that she had received from Malta, 
as a present from her husband, a beautiful dress that she had 
not yet worn. She refused absolutely, declaring that as she 
did not know but that she might be a widow, she would go 
to no place of amusement until she had received letters from 
her husband of later date than November 14th. 

*'In the following month of December, a telegram announc- 
ing the death of Captain Wheatcroft was published by the 
War Office in London. It said that he had been killed before 
Lucknow, on the 15th of November. 

164 



OP TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

*^Tbi8 newSj printed in a London paper, attracted the 
lotice of Mr* Wilkinson, a solicitor, who was in charge of the 
business of the captain. Mrs. Wheatcroft having told him 
that the apparition had appeared to her on the 14tli, not the 
15th, of November^ he made inquiriesat the War Office, which 
proved that the captain died on the 15th. Bnt in the follow- 
ing month of Mareli, a comrade of the captain's, having got 
back to London^ explained the eircnmstanceSj proving that 
he was beside the captain when he was killed, not on the 15th, 
but on the afternoon of the 14th of November, and that the 

trosa put np over his grave bore the date of November 14th." 
Thus this apparition bad given the date of Captain Wbeat- 
rof t's death wiih more precmon fhau the official docnmentSf 
rhich were subsequently rectified. 
CLXVIII. ^*'The evening of Easter Simday, 1874,1 was 
eginningmy supper, feeling very tired with my day's work, 
rhen I saw the door open behind me. I had my back to the 
door, but I could see it over my shoiildei\ I might also have 
heard any noise made by opening it, but I am not confident 
on this point. I turned half-round^ Just in time to see the form 
of a tall man spring into the roora^ as if about to assault me. 
I jumped up at once, and I flung a glass which I bad in my 
hand straight in the direction where I had seen the face of {Jib 
figure, but it had disappeared as I arose, and so rapidly that 
I had not had time to stay the movement of my hand. I then 
understood that I had seen an apparition, and I thought it 
was one of my uncles who I knew was seriously ill, all the 
more so because its great stature was like that of my uncle. 
A friend, Mr, Adcock, came in and found me quite unnerved 
by the incident. I told him what had happened. The next 
day came a despatch which informed me, that my uncle bad 
died that Sunday, and the date of his death most have coin- 
cided with the appearance of the apparition. 
^ **Ket. n, Markham Hill. 

^H *' LoadoD." 

^P This testimony was corroborated by inquiries concerning it 
made of Mr. Adcock, who wrote as follows : 

1&5 



THE UNKNOWN 

'' I went to pay a visits on the evening of Easter Sanday, 
to my friend the Bey. Markham Hill. I fonnd him quite 
exhausted; sitting in an easy chair. He told me, before I was 
able to question him, that he had seen the figure of his uncle 
standing opposite to him against a wall behind'a piano, that 
he had picked a glass up from the table and had flung it at 
the figure, but it disappeared. The next day, or the day after, 
he showed me a letter received that morning, which told him 
that his uncle was dead, and he died the very day of the ap- 
parition. Rev. H. Adcock. 

** London/' 

CLXIX. "Towards the end of March, 1875, the event of 
which I am about to give you the details took place at Gib- 
raltar. I was lying down in my drawing-room one clear, 
bright afternoon, reading a chapter in Kingsley's Miscellanies, 
when all of a sudden I had an impression that some one was 
waiting to speak to me. I raised my eyes from my book, and 
saw a man standing beside a chair, about six feet from me. 
He looked at me very attentively. The expression in his 
eyes was unusually grave, but when I rose to speak to him he 
disappeared. 

" The room was about eighteen feet long, and at the far- 
ther end I saw our servant, Pearson, holding the door open as 
if he had just let in a visitor. I asked him if any one had 
come in ? He answered, ' No one, ma^am,*^ and went away. 

*' Then I began to reflect upon this vision. I was sure I 
knew the face, but I could not think whose it was. His 
dress had puzzled me. It was exactly like a garment that 
my husband the year before had given to a servant of the 
name of Bamsay. Bamsay was an old soldier whom I had 
found sick at Inverness, and who had entered our service 
after he left the hospital. He did not suit, and I had been 
forced to dismiss him before we left for Gibraltar (February, 
1875). As he got a place as butler at the Inverness Club, I 
had no reason to be anxious about him. I thought that he 
was well and behaving well, and that he had learned by ex- 
perience how to keep a good situation. 

166 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



''^ When my husband came iu I told hira what I had seen. 
I also told it to his colonePs wife (at present Lady Lafifan), 
but I did not write down the date. However, in the shortest 
possible time, I think, that a letter could take to come from 
In vernesSj my husband got from his old sergeant the news 
that Kanisaj was dead. The letter contained no particulars. 
My husband wrote in reply that he was sorry to hear the 
news sent him, and that he would like to ha%"e some account 
of the man's illness and death. This ia the answer he received : 
* Ramsay died at the liospitaL He was delirious, and was all 
the tinie calling for Mrs. Bolland," 

"I onght to add that my health had not been good for 
some years, but at the time of the apparition I was better 
than I had been. The warm climate eaited me so well that 
I felt a renewal of strengtli that delighted me, and the mere 

(pleasure of living made my Hfc a joy. 
"Kate E. Bollanb. 
"Southampton/* 
The following is extracted from the Chtirch Qtiarierh/ 
Review, April, 1870: 
CLXX* '' In the house where these pages are written there 
ia a large window, looking to the north, which gives plenty 
of light to the staircase, and also to the entrance of the 
principal room, which is situated at the end of a passage 
which runs the whole length of the house. One afternoon, 
in midwinter, he who writes these lines left his dressing-room, 
. which opens on the passage, to go to breakfast. 
^K ''The day was dark, but thoogh there were not any very 
^'dense clouds, the door at the end of the passage seemed ob- 
scured by a mist. As by degrees it moved forward this mist 
— if we may call it so — concentrated itself upon one spot, 
grew thicker, and assumed the shape of a human figure, 
the head and shoulders of which became more and more dis- 
tinctly visible, while the rest of the body seemed to be en- 
veloped in a large, gaozy vestment, like a mantle with many 
folds, which fell to the floor so as to hide the feet. The 
mantle rested on the floor; the rest of the figure was pyra- 

167 



THE UNKNOWN 

midal. The full light from the window fell upon this ob- 
ject, which had so little consistency that the light reflected 
on the polished panels of a varnished door could be seen 
through the lower part of the vestment. The apparition had 
no color. It seemed like a statue formed out of mist. The 
writer of these lines was so astonished that he cannot now 
tell whether he advanced towards it or stood still. He was 
more amazed than terrified, but his first idea was that he was 
witnessing an unknown combination of light and shadow. 
He was not thinking of anything supernatural, but as he 
gazed he saw the head turned towards him, and he recog- 
nized the features of a very dear friend ; the face had an ex- 
pression oi holiness, peace, and repose, and the air of kindli- 
ness that he habitually wore had increased and intensified 
into a last look of deepest tenderness. (This feeling he who 
writes these lines has always experienced whenever the vision 
has recurred to his memory.) Then an instant after all disap- 
peared. The way in which it vanished can only be compared 
to that of a cloud of steam when it comes in contact with cold 
air. 

'' The post the next morning brought him the news that 
his friend had tranquilly passed away from the Avorld at the 
moment he had seen him. It should be added that his was a 
sudden death, that he who witnessed the apparition had not 
heard his friend spoken of for some weeks, and that nothing 
had led him to be thinking of him on the day he died.^* 

Mrs. Allom, 18 Batoum Gardens, W. Kensington, London, 
writes: 

CLXXI. " I see no reason why I should not tell you how 
my mother appeared to me on the day she died, although it 
is a subject on which I have seldom spoken, because it is an 
event very sacred to me, and because I would not like to have 
any one throw doubt upon my story or make a mock of it. 

*^ I went to a school in Alsace in the month of October, 
1852. I was then seventeen. My mother remained in Eng- 
land. Her health was delicate. Towards Christmas, 1853, 
fourteen months after I left home, I heard that my mother 

168 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



had grown worsCj but I did not imagine that her life was in 
any danger. On the last Sunday of February, 1854, between 
two and three o^clock in the afternoon, I was sitting in the 
great study at school. I was readingj when suddenly the 
figure of my mother appeared at the farthest corner of the 
room. It leaned backward^ as if she were lying in her bed, 
and she had on her nighfc-gown. Her face, witii a sweet 
smile, was turned towards me, and one of her hands was raised 
to heaven. 

*' Tlie apparition passed slowly across the room. It seemed 
to ascend as it walked, until the moment it disappeared. 
Her body and her features seemed contorted by sickness, I 
had never seen my mother looking like that while living- 
She was deathly pale* 

I ** From the moment when I saw the apparition I was cer- 
tain that my mother was dead* I was so much impressed hj 
what I had seen that I found it impossible to fix my mind 
upon my studies, and it was real pain to me to see my younger 
stater playing and amusing herself with her companions. 

I " Two or three days later, after prayers, my school-mistress 
called me into her private room. As soon as we were there I 
said: ' You need not tell me. I know my mother is dead.' Slie 

I asked me how I could possibly know this. I would not give 
her any explanation, but I assured her I had known it for 
three days. I learned later that mamma had died on Sunday 
ai the hour when I saw her, and that she had been unconscious 
for a day or two. 

"I am not an imaginative woman, I am not easily im- 
pressed, and neither before nor after has anything like this 
happened to me. Isabelle Allom."' 

Captain G. F. Russell Colt, of Gartsherrie, Cambridgeshire, 
sends the following narrative: 

CLXXIL '" I had a brother who was very dear to me, my 
elder brother, Oliver, a lieutenant in the Seventh Royal Fusi- 
leers. At the time of which I write he was at SebastopoL I 

' ' Mrs. Allom's mother was Mrs. Carrick, wife of Mr. ThomM Carrlck, 
a well 'known minJature puiDtcr. 

169 



THE UNKNOWN 

kept up a regular correspondence with him. One day he wrote 
as if be were out of spirits and not well. I answered that he 
must pluck up heart, but that if anything happened to him 
he must let me know by appearing to me in the little room 
where as young fellows we had often sat together smoking 
and gossiping in secret. My brother received this letter just 
as he was leaving his quarters to receive the Sacrament of 
the Lord's Supper. (The clergyman who was the celebrant 
told me this afterwards.) After Communion he went into 
the trenches. He never came back. A few hours later the 
assault upon the Bedan took place. When the captain of 
his company fell, my brother took his place and bravely led 
on his men. Although he had received several wounds, he 
had crossed the ramparts with his men, when he was struck 
by a ball in his right temple. He fell in a heap with other 
soldiers. He was found dead in a sort of kneeling posture, 
upheld by other corpses, thirty-six hours after. 

**His death took place — possibly he fell and did not die 
immediately — September 8, 1855. 

" The same night I awoke suddenly. I saw, opposite to 
the window and beside my bed, my brother on his knees, 
surrounded by a sort of phosphorescent mist. I tried to 
speak to him, but I could not. I hid my face under the 
bedclothes. And yet I was not frightened. We had been 
brought up to have no belief in ghosts or apparitions, but I 
wanted to collect my thoughts, because I had not dreamed of 
him nor been thinking of him, and I forgot what I had 
written to him a fortnight before. I said to myself that it 
might be an illusion, the reflection of a moonbeam on a 
towel, or on something else. A few moments after I looked 
again. He was still there, his eyes fixed on me with pro- 
found eadness. I tried again to speak, but my tongue 
seemed tied. I could not utter a word. 

*^I jumped out of bed. I looked out of the window, and 
I saw that there was no moonlight. The night was dark 
and it was raining heavily, great drops pattering on the win- 
dow-panes. My poor Oliver was still there. Then I drew 
near. '^ I walked right through the apparition, I reached my 

170 



rEPj 



mi 



[ONS 



chamber door, and as I turned the knob to open it I looked 
back once more. The apparition slowly turned its Jiead 
towards me and gave me another look fall of anguish ftud of 
love. Then for the first time I observed a wound on his 
right temple, and from it trickled a little stream of Mood. 
The face was pale as wax, but it was transparent. 

'* I left my room. I went into that of a friend, where I 
lay down on a sofa for the rest of the night. I told him why 
I had come into hia room. I also spoke of the apparition to 
several people in the house, but when I mentioned it to my 
father he ordered me never to repeat such nonsense, and 
above all not to mention it to my mother. 

** The following Monday he received a note from Sir Alex- 
ander Milne, telling him that the Redan had been taken by 
assault, but it gave Iiira no details. I asked my friend to 
^iell me if he saw, sooner than I did, my brother's name 
imong the killed and wounded. About a fortnight later he 
came and told me the story of his death. 

'' The colonel of the regiment, and one or two officers who 
gaw the body, sent me word that the look on the face was 
exactly tvhat I had described. The wound was just where I 
had seen it, but it was impossible to say if he had died at 
once. If he did, his apparition must have taken place some 
hours after his death, for I saw it about two in the morning. 
Some months later they sent me his little prayer-book and 
the last lefter I had written him. They were both found in 
the inner pocket of the tunic that he wore when he died, I 
iave them still." 

CLXXIIl. "On the night of November 14, 1867, I went 
'with my husband to a concert in Birmingham, given at the 
town hall. While there I felt an ice cold shiver pass 
through me. Almost immediately I saw between me and 
the orchestra my uncle lying on his bed. He seemed to call 
for me. I had heard nobody mention him for some months, 
and had no reason to think that he was ill. The apparition 
was neither transparent nor vaporous^ but it seemed like a 
real person. Kevertheless, I could see the orchestra, not 
through the body, but behind tl. I did not try to turn inj 

171 



THE UNKNOWN 

9yes to see if moving them would displace the apparition, 
but I looked steadily at it as if fascinated, so that my hus- 
band asked me what was the matter with me. I told him 
not to speak to me for a minute or two. The vision disap- 
peared by degrees, and after the concert I told my husband 
what I had seen. A letter came shortly after, which informed 
us of the death of my uncle. He died at the very hour of 
my vision, E. T. TauisTFOK.''' 

The Eev. P. Barker, formerly Rector at Coltentham in 
Cambridgeshire, signs the following declaration : 

OLXXIV. ** December 6, 1873, about eleven o'clock at 
night, I had just gone to bed, but was not asleep, when I 
was conscious that my wife shuddered because she heard me 
give a great groan. She asked me why. I said, ^I have just 
seen my aunt. She came here and stood near me ; she smiled 
at me with her kind, familiar smile, then she disappeared.' 

*^An aunt whom I loved dearly (my mother's sister) was 
then at Madeira for her health; her niece, my cousin, was 
with her. I had no reason to suppose that she was seriously 
ill at that moment, but the impression made on me had been 
so great that the next morning I told all her family (my 
mother among them) what I had seen. A week after we 
heard that she had died that same night, and when we calcu- 
lated the difference of longitude, it must have been almost at 
the mome7it when the vision appeared to me. When my 
cousin, who had been with her to the last, heard what I had 
seen, she said, * I am not surprised, for she called for you 
continually when she was dying.' 

" This was the only time I ever experienced anything of the 
kind. Fbederick Barker." 

The date of her death is confirmed by the death-list in the 
Times. Mrs. Barker on another occasion confirmed the same 
recital in the following terms : 

1 The signature of Mrs. Taunton's husband is appended to his wife's 
statement. 

172 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

'*'I perfectly remember the circumstanc© about which my 
tniaband has written to yon. It must have taken place about 
eleven. My husband had not gone to sleep ; he had just be- 
fore spoken to me. Then he began to groan deeply. I asked 
him what was the matter. He told me that his aunt, who was 
at Madeira, had appeared to him, that she had smiled at him 
with her kind smile, and had then disappeared. He also told 
me she had something black upon her head, which might 
have been lace. Next day be told what had happened to 
several of our relations, and he subsequently learned that 
[>ur aunt had died that same night. Her niece. Miss Garnett, 
[>ld me that she was not sorprised to hear that my husband 
[lad seen his aunt ; she had called for him several times when 
she was dying. He had been almost like a son to her. 

''K S. Bahkeb," 

Miss Garnett, who was with her aunt at the time of her 
death, certified the two preceding statements. 

CLXXV. *'Here is the account of the death of oar dear 
little girl, which took place May 17, 1870* I ought to begin 
by saying that the scene is as distinctly present to my mind as 
if it had happened within a few days. The morning was very 
beautiful, and it seemed to me as if I had never seen the sun 
so bright. My child was four years and five montlis old, and 
she was a lovely little creature. Five minutes before eleven 
she came running in from the kitchen, and said, 'Mother, 
may I go out and play ?* I answered * Yes/ 

'*'Then she went ouL After speaking to her I went to 
carry a pail of water to my chamber. 

'* As I crossed tbe court-yard the child ran athwart me like 

luminous shade* I stopped short to look at her. I turned 
my head to the right, and the vision disappeared. A mo- 
ment after my husband's brother, who lived with us, called 
_gut to me : 

'*' ' Fanny has been run over !' 

*^I flew into the house like an arrow, and then into the 
street, where I found her. She had been knocked down by 
the hoofs of a horse, and the wheels of a baker^s cart had 

173 



THE UNKNOWN 

passed over her neck and broken it. She expired in my 
mrrns a few moments after I reached her. 

'* This is exactly how the sad accident took place. 

**Akkb E. Wright.'*' 

OLXXVI. " My wife had an uncle, a captain in the mer- 
chant service, who loved her very dearly when she was a 
child, and often, when he came home to London, would 
take her on his lap and stroke her hair. She left for Sydney 
with her parents, and her uncle followed his profession in all 
parts of the world. Three or four years later she had one 
day gone up to dress for dinner. She had unfastened her 
hair, when suddenly she felt a hand placed on the top of her 
head, and her loose locks were being stroked quickly down 
to her shoulders. Frightened, she turned and cried, * Oh, 
mother, why did you do that to me ?' For she supposed her 
mother was playing her some little trick. 

"There was no one in the room. 

"When she told the incident at table, a superstitious friend 
advised her to note down the day and hour. She did so. A 
little while after came the news that her uncle William had 
died that very day, and if the longitude is calculated, it will 
be proved to have been almost at the very hour when she felt 
the hand placed on her head. 

"J. Chantey Harris, 
*' Owner of the New Zealand and the New Zealand Mail 

** Wellington, New Zealand." 

Here is what Mrs. Harris herself testifies ; 

" It was 1860, in the month of April. I was then a young 
girl. Standing before my dressing-table, in my bedchamber, 
I was taking unusual pains with my toilet. 

^^ It was about six in the evening, and at that time of the 
year it was getting dark, when suddenly I felt a hand laid on 
my head and, stroking down my hair to its full length, press 

1 Mrs. Wright is the wife of an Inspector on the Great Northern Rail- 
way in England. She lives at 4 Taylor's College, London Road, Notting- 
ham. 

174 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



heavily upon my left ahouMen Frightened by this Tinex- 
pected caress, I turned quickly to reproach my mother for 
having suddenly ajid without noise entered my room, but to 
my great surprise no one was there, I thought at once of 
Kngland, for which my father had sailed m the mouth of 
January, and I said something must have happened to him, 
though 1 coukl make out nothing. 

" I went down and told my fright to my family* In the 
evening Mrs. and Miss W. came in, and when they had 
been told what made me look so pale, Mrs. W. said at 
once, 'Write down the date and we shall see what happens.' 

They did go, and the matter ceased to trouble us, though 
all the family expected some bad news when the first letter 
from my father arrived. On reaching England he had found 
his brother dying. In my childhood I had been his favorite, 
andj dying, my name had been the last word that he pro- 
nonnced^** 

CLXXVIL ^' One Thursday, about the middle of August, 
1849, I went, as I often did, to visit the Ilev, Mr. Harrison 
and his family, with whom I had very intimate relations. As 
the weather was very fine, we all went together to the Zoologi- 
cal Gardens, I note this particularly because it proves 
beyond a doubt that Mr, Harrison and his family were all in 
good health that evening and no one had any snspicion of 
what was about to come to pass. The next day I went to pay 
a visit to some relations in Hertfordshire. They lived in a 
house called Hamstead'Lodge, twenty-six miles from London, 
: on the high-road. We dined generally at two o'clock, and 
the following Monday, in the afternoon, when we had dined, 
I left the ladies in the drawing-room and went across the 
place to the great London road. Observe that we were in the 
middle of a day in the month of August, with bright sun- 
shine on a broad highway, travelled by many people, and a 
hundred yards from a way-side inn, I myself was feeling 
gay, full of life and youth, and there was nothing around me 
to disorder my imagination. Some laborers were at work at 
a short distance. 

"All of a sudden a 'phantom ' rose before me, so close that 

1T5 



THE UNKNOWN 

if it had been a human being it would have touched me. For 
the moment it obstructed my view of the landscape and the 
objects round me. I could not see completely the outline of 
this phantom, but I saw its lips move and murmur some- 
thing. Its eyes were fixed on mine with an expression so 
intense and so severe that I drew back and walked backward. 
I said to myself instinctively, and probably aloud : * Good 
Heavens ! It is Harrison !' though I had not thought of him, 
up to that moment, the least in the world. After a few 
seconds, which to me seemed an eternity, the spectre disap- 
peared. I stood nailed to the spot for a few moments, and 
the strange sensation I experienced is the strongest proof to 
me of the reality of the vision. I felt my blood freeze in my 
veins. My nerves were calm, but I felt a sensation of deadly 
cold, which lasted over an hour, and which quitted me at 
length by slow degrees as circulation was restored. I have 
never felt any sensation like ifc, either before or since. I did 
not speak of what had happened to the ladies on getting back 
to the house, being afraid of frightening them, and the dis- 
agreeable impression wore off after a while. 

^^I said that the house was near the great London road. It 
stood in the middle of the property, with a lane on one side 
of it leading to the village. It was two or three hundred 
yards from any other dwelling. There was an iron railing, 
seven feet high, before the front of the house to protect it 
from tramps. The gates are always shut at nightfall. A 
gravel walk, thirty feet long, leads from the front door to 
the highway. That day the evening was beautiful, very 
clear, and very quiet. Nobody could have approached the 
house in the stillness of a summer night without being dis- 
tinctly heard from a distance. Besides, there was a great 
watch-dog guarding the front door, and in the house a little 
terrier who barked at everybody and at every noise. We 
were about to go to our bedchambers, but were all sitting to- 
gether in the drawing-room on the ground floor, and the lit- 
tle terrier was with us. The servants had gone to sleep in 
a room at the back, about sixty feet from where we were. 

'^Suddenly at the front door there was a noise, so loud and 

176 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 

so persistent (the door seemed to be shaken in its supports 
jtnd to vibrate under such formidable blows) that we were all 
|n our feet in a moment, fall of astonishment, and the ser- 
vants arrived balf-clothed, having come down from their 
room in haste to learn what was going ol. 

''We all ran to the door, but we saw and heard nothing. 
The terrier, quite contrary to his custom^ trembled and hid 
^himself under the sofa,* and would neither stay by the front 
door nor go into the darkness. There was no knocker on 
the dooi' — ^nothing that would havo fallen^— and it was impos- 
sible for any one to havo approached the house or to have left 
it in the great silence without being heard* Everybody was 
Silent, and I had great difficulty in making our hosts and 
tlieir servants go back to bed, 

** I was so unimpressionable a person that at first I never 
thought of connecting this noise with the appearance of the 
phantom I had seen that afternoon. I went to bed myself^ 
thinking over all that had taken place, and trying to find an 
explanation, 

"I stayed in the country until Wednesday morningj having 

10 idea of what had happened at home during my absence. 
That morning, when I returned to town, I went to my office, 

11 King's road, Gray^s Inn. My employer came to me at 
once and said to me: 'A gentleman has been Jiere two or 
three times to ask for you. He wants to see yon immedi- 
ately.^ Tlie visitor was Mr. Chad wick, an intimate friend of 
the Harrison family. He told mc, to my great surprise: 
* There has been a terrible epidemic of cholera on the Wands- 
worth lload. In Mr» Harrison's family all are gone, Mrs. 
Roscoe was taken ill Friday, and is dead. Her maid was 
taken ill the same evening, and she ia dead too- Mra, Har- 
rison was taken down Saturday mornijig, and ia dead. Her 
chambermaid was strieken Sunday, and is dead. The cook 
also was taken ill, but she was removed from the house 

-a little more and she also would have died* Poor Mr. 



^ We shall have sometliliig to say about dogs. Wliy» by*thc-way, do 
tliey announce a death by how ling ? 

177 



THE UNKNOWN 

Harrison, good, reverend man, was taken ill Sunday. He 
was very bad on Monday, and yesterday they removed him 
from Wandsworth Boad to Jack Straw's Castle, at Hampstead, 
for change of air. He implored all the people round him 
Monday and yesterday to send for you, but nobody knew 
where you were to be found. Take a cab at once and come 
with me or you may not find him alive.' 

"I left instantly with Chad wick, but Mr, Harrison was 
dead when we arrived. H. B. Gabling. 

**12 Westbourne Ghirdens, Folkestone." 

This is one of our most remarkable, extraordinary, and 
dramatic narratives, notably as it concerns the impression 
made on many people and on animals. We will speak of it 
again when we come to a general discussion of causes. Here 
are three other cases, not less curious, of collective sensations. 

CLXXVIII. ''On the night of August 20, 1869, between 
eight and nine o'clock, I was sitting in my chamber in my 
mother's house, at Devonport. My nephew, a boy seven years 
old, was in bed in the next room. I was surprised to have him 
run suddenly into my chamber crying out, in a frightened 
voice, 'Oh, auntie, I have just seen my father. He walked 
round my bed !' I answered, ' What nonsense ! You were 
dreaming.' He replied that he had not dreamed at all, and 
insisted that he would not go back into that chamber. Seeing 
that I could not persuade him, I let him get into my bed. 
Between ten and eleven I went to bed myself. About an 
hour later I saw distinctly beside the hearth the form of my 
brother sitting in a chair, and what struck me most was the 
deathly paleness of his face. My nephew at this moment 
was fast asleep. I was so frightened (my brother was at Hong- 
Kong) that I hid my face under the bedclothes. A short 
time after I distinctly heard his voice calling me by name. 
The name was repeated three times. Then I resolved to look 
again, but he was gone. 

'' The next morning I told my mother and my sister what 
had happened, and I made a memorandum of the date. The 
next mail that came from China brought us the sad news of 

178 



OF TELEPATHIC CO MMTJNICATIONS 

my brother's death. It had taken place on the 21st of August^ 
1869, in the harbor of Hong-Kong. It ayob sadden, and was 
caused by isolation, MiirKiE Cox. 

** Summer Hill, QiieeDatown, Ireland." 



CLXXIX. "A friend of mine, an officer in a regiment of 
Highlanders^ had been badly wounded in the knee at the 
battle of Tel*el-Kebir. His mother was one of our best 
friends, and when the hospital ship Carthage brought him to 
Malta, she sent me on board to see him, and to make arrange- 
ments for hie disembarkation* Wlien I got on board they 
told me that his was one of the worst cases, eo that it might 
be dangerous to transport him to the military hospital. After 
many efforts, his mother and I obtained permission to visit 
him and comfort him. The poor fellow was so ill that the 
doctors thought he would die if they attempted an operation, 
which was the only chance of saving him. His leg was be- 
ginning to show gangrene ; some parts were slooghing away, 
and as he continued to linger, sometimes better, sometimes 

I worse, the doctors began to think he might possibly recover 
a certain degree of health, but in that case he would remain 
lame all his life, and would probably die of consumption. 
** On the night of January 4, 18 86, wo looked for no sudden 

^change, and his mother took mo home with her, that I might 
get a night's rest, for I was much worn out, and my health 
was not good enough to stand so long a strain. He had been 
for some hours in a sort of lethargic state, and the doctor said 
that as this was due to the influence of morphine he would 
probably sleep till the next morning, I consented to go, re- 
solving to be back at daybreak, so that he might find me be- 
side him on awaking, 

*' About three o'clock in the morning my eldest son, who 

Pelept in my chamber, woke me by crying out, ' Mamma ! 
mamma! There is Mr. B. P I started up at once. It was 
perfectly trne. The form of Mr. B* was floating through the 
chamber, about half a foot above the floor (o"", 15), and ho 
disappeared through the window, smiling at me. He was in 
his night-clothes; but^ strange to say, his wounded foot^ — the 

179 



THE UNKNOWN 

toes of which had dropped off from gangrene — ^was exactly 
like the other foot now. We remarked this simnltaneonsly, 
my son and I. About half an hour afterwards a man came to 
tell me that Mr. B. had died at three o'clock. I then went 
to his mother, who had remained beside him, and who told 
me how it had occurred. He had partly recovered conscions- 
ness before his death. ' He took my hand/ she said, ' in his 
and pressed it, as he did that of the hospital steward, who 
stayed by him to the end.' I shall never forgive myself for 
having gone home that night. 

"Eugenia Wickham.'' 

Mrs. Wickham's son, a boy nine years old at the time of 
this event, added this certificate : 

" I perfectly remember that things happened just as they 
are told above. Edmund Wickham.'' 

The husband of Mrs. Wickham, a lieutenant-colonel of ar- 
tillery, also writes that he can certify the exactness of this 
story. 

We will conclude these telepathic observations by the fol- 
lowing, which has also two witnesses.' 

CLXXX. "During the winter of 1850-51, I, Charles 
Matthews, being twenty-five years old, was mattre d^h6tel to 
General Morse at Troston Hall, near Bury Saint Edmunds. 
My mother, Mary Anne Matthews, was in the same house as 
cook and housekeeper. She was a very upright and concien- 
tious woman, liked by all the servants, except one chamber- 
maid, named Susan. This Susan made herself disagreeable 
to them all by her tale-beaiing and her ill-nature, but she was 
very much afraid of my mother, whose just, firm character 
awed her. 

1 Our examples of collective impressions are numerous. See I., 
XV., XXXV.. XL.. XLVIL, XLVIII., LV., LVIL, LXIX., LXXVI.. 
LXXVIII., LXXXIII.. XCni.. XCV.. CXXIIL. CXXXI., CXXXIL, 
CXXXV., CXXXIX, CXLIV., CXLV., CLII.. CLIV., CLVII.. CLXI., 
CLXVI., CXXVII.» and these three last ones. 

180 



OF TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATIONS 



^ Susan had the Jaundice. For some moutha she was taken 
care of afc Troston Hall, but finally she was sent to the hospi- 
tal at Bury Saint Edmunds, at the expense of General Morse, 
and put into the ward set apart for servants. She died there 
a week after her admission. The General sent a woman from 
the Tillage over to the hospital, which was seven miles off, 
every day that the carriage did not go into Bury Saint Ed- 
munds, to hear how the girl was. On a certain Saturday the 
woman went, and she did not get back until Sunday evening* 
She then said tliat she had found Susan unconscious, and that, 
as her death was approaching, she was permitted to stay in the 
ward till the end< 

** During that Saturday night the mysterious things that I 
have to relate took place* They liave always puzzled me. 

' I was asleep, when suddenly I was roused up wide awake, 
^with a strange feeling of terror* I stared into the darkness, 
but saw nothing. I felt myself a prey to unnatural fright, 
and I hid my head under the bedclothes. The door of my 
chamber opened on a narrow passage which led to the cham- 
ber of my mother^ and all the people who passed along that 
passage brushed against my door, I slept no more that night. 
In the morning I met my mother and saw at once that she 
seemed to be sick; she was pale and seemed greatly agitated. 
I said : ' What's the matter ?' She answered, ' Nothing — don't 
ask me/ 

*'An hour or two had elapsed, and I Law clearly that 
something was wrong. I resolved to know what it was. My 
mother, on her part, refused to speak. At last I said: 'lias 
it anything to do with Susan P She burst into tears and re- 
plied : ' Why do you ask ?' 

"Then I told her about my fright during the night, and 
she in return told me the following story : 

** *I was awakened/ she said, * hy hearing my door open. 
To my great terror, Susan entered in her night-gown. She 
came straight to my bed and lifted the bedclothes and lay 
down beside me. I felt a chill like ice all down the side 
where she touched me. Very much frightened, I think I 
must have fainted, for 1 remember nothing more that passed. 

181 



THE UNKNOWN 

When I regained my senses she was not there. Bnt I am 
sure of one thing, and that is that it was not a dream.' 

" We learned from the woman of the village, when she got 
home at last, that Susan had died in the middle of the night, 
and in her last moments she spoke all the time of going back 
to Troston Hall. We none of us expected her death. We 
thought she had gone to the hospital, not because she was in 
any danger, but to undergo some special treatment. 

** These are the facts, as well as I can report them. I am 
neither credulous nor superstitious, but I have never been 
able to satisfy my mind as to the how and the why of this 
strange incident. Charles Matthews. 

" 9 Blandford Place, Clarence Gate, Regent's Park, London." 



CHAPTER IV 

ADMISSION OF FACTS 

" There are more things in Jieaven and earthy Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." 

— Shakbspbarb. Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5. 

I HAVE now recorded one hundred and eighty-one manifesta- 
tions of the dying (and I have many more as yet unpublished). 
Is it possible for any one, after having read them conscien- 
tiously and without prejudice, to see in them nothing but 
inventions, made-up stories, or hallucinations with fortuitous 
coincidences ? 

A pure and simple negation cannot be accepted in this case. 
No doubt we are dealing with the extraordinary, the unknown, 
the unexplained. But negation is not solution. It appears 
to us to be more scientific to try to account for these phenom- 
ena than to disbelieve them without examination. 

To explain them is more difficult. As we said at the begin- 
ning of this book, our senses are imperfect and deceitful, and 
perhaps thoy will in this case never reveal to us the true re- 
ality any more than they have done in others. 

These narratives have been carefully selected from among 
a number of others. Readers anxious to take account of the 
nature and variety of these manifestations, and who have read 
them with interest, will have understood that our object in 
publishing so large a number has been to establish the fact 
that they are by no means so rare or so exceptional as people 
imagine, and also because their value increases perceptibly in 
proportion to their number. 

It will be remarked that in all these cases the details have 
been given as circumstantially as possible, and that there has 

183 



THE UNKNOWN 

been no question in them of subjective hallucinations, which 
for the most part are often doubtful, uncertain, and above all 
anonymous. I have an unconquerable horror of all that is 
anonymous. And I have never been able to understand — I 
never shall understand — why any one has not the courage of 
his opinions, and why, if a person has in his possession an in- 
teresting observation that may serve to increase our knowl- 
edge — be it ever so little — dares not sign an account of it, for 
fear of compromising himself, or of displeasing influential 
friends, or in dread of ridicule, or for self-interest, for super- 
stitious prejudice, or for any other reason whatever. 

I renew my thanks to all the persons who have sent me 
their observations, and I have taken all possible care to dis- 
creetly carry out their expressed wishes. We have already 
said that there is at least one person in twenty who has him- 
self experienced, or has known somebody who has expe- 
rienced, manifestations of this kind. This makes an average 
not to be neglected. In general, people do not tell stories of 
this kind unless they are asked to do so-^and not then al- 
ways! 

The question now before us is this. What is the real value 
of these narratives ? For their quantity alone will not deter- 
mine their value. Their quality must be a coefficient. Our 
analysis must have relation to their quality as well as their 
quantity. That they have been invented— cut out of the 
whole cloth — to mystify friends and relations to whom they 
were told in the first instance, is an hypothesis which cannot 
be seriously maintained, but we will begin by getting it out 
of the way. In some of the cases reported there are several 
witnesses ; in others the person reporting them was so much 
impressed that he experienced an illness. The first expe- 
riences I have related were vouched for by persons whose sin- 
cerity I am as sure of as I am of my own. The letters which 
follow have all the marks of good faith. I have contrived to 
verify, by various means, about one-tenth of them, and my 
inquiries have always resulted in confirming the truth of the 
recitals, except perhaps in some insignificant details. 

These narratives, indeed, are not different from those that 

184 



ADMISSION OF 



I received from persoaa I havo known a long time. The 
class of hoaxers and "smokers" is rare among those wiio are 
telling of the death of a near relation, a father, mother, wife, 
husband, or child. These are sorrows that people seldom 
laugh over. Men do not make jokes upon such subjects. 
Besides, sincerity has its own accent. Le style c^est Vkommej 
says Buff on. 

My relations with these correspondonta is the same aa it is 
with those who send me constantly, from all parts of the globe, 
observations thoy have made in astronomy and meteorology, 

When somebody writes me that he has observed an eclipse, 
an occultation or a meteor, shoot iug-stars, a comet, a vari- 
tion in Mars or Jupiter, an aurora borealis, an earthquake, a 
singular case of thunder and lightning, a lunar rainbow, etc, 
I begin by credithig him with good faith aud-aincerity; but 
that does not pre ve tit me from carefully examining his com- 
munication and forming my own judgment upon it. Peo- 
ple may tell me tluit the cases are by no means the same, for 
that an astronomical or meteorological observation may be 
made at the same time by different persons, which puts a sort 
of check on the report made by one. Of course, But as to the 
opinion I may hold of the sincerity of the observer, the cases 
are exactly alike* I accept his fact subject to its relation 
to other facts subject to the right of free examination. 
In cases of telepatUy and others, the same human beings are 
concerned, the same intellectual faculties are brought into 
play, and I believe that those wlio address me are in their 
normal state of mind, which is proved by the reflections they 
make themselves. A priori I have no more reason to mistrust 
a savant, a professor, a magistrate, a priest, a Protestant 
pastor, a manufacturer, or an agriculturist, when he relates 
to me a psychical experience than when heeendsmea physi- 
cal observation. Nevertheless, as these facts are more rare 
and less easy of belief, our standard of admission must be 
more severe, and I, for my part, began by verifying a large 
number by collecting information about them and making 
inquiries about these writers, wliich almost invariably re- 
sulted in confirming purely and simply the relations I had 

185 



THE UNKNOWN 

received. The same thing has been done by the Society for 
Psychical Besearch in London. In spite of some small vari- 
ations in the recitals^ and certain lapses of memory^ one may 
always feel convinced that the niain fact is real^ and not 
apocryphal. 

Bat if impostors are rare, the victims of illasion are numer- 
ous. They are legion in this order of things. We have set 
forth in our second chapter the extent of human credulity. 
And the style in which the credulous and the fanatical write 
is very characteristic. 

Another objection, more tenable, is this : to think that the 
fact at the bottom may be true, but that the things observed 
concerning it have been arranged and amplified, probably 
with all the good faith to fit the framework of the events 
themselves. Such narratives would be hallucinations, which 
we have brought forward only in cases where a death has 
been coincident; and even then it is possible that this coinci- 
dence may have been uncertain, the dying moment not being 
always precisely known, and when the conclusion of coinci- 
dence may have been drawn after the fact, 

I have examined and discussed this hypothesis with the 
greatest attention, and I have found it also insufficient 
First, in cases where I have had it in my power to obtain all 
the facts, I have been convinced that they occurred nearly 
as the writers of the narratives reported them. Secondly, the 
persons who describe them take pains to state that they were 
in their usual health ; that they are not subject to hallucina- 
tions, that they have observed and verified the facts with the 
greatest coolness, and that they feel quite certain about 
them. Thirdly, I have left out of these records everything 
that had been felt or seen in dreams, and have only dealt 
with cases in which the observer was fully awake. Fourthly, 
I have omitted such cases as might possibly be attributed to 
imagination, ante-suggestion, or to other kinds of hallucina'' 
tion. 

The facts I here publish are various. They have been 
reported by persons whose intellectual and moral standards 
are not the same, by men and by women of all ages, by the 

186 



ADMISSION OF FACTS 



lifferent and the sceptical, as well as by the credalons and 
by ideologists, some come from the north, some Irom the 
soutbj some from men of the Lafcin race, and some from 
those of Anglo-Saxon origin; from all conntries and in all 
ages. The most severe critic cannot consider them of no ac- 
count, or treat them as things that never happened ; and they 
ought at least to be taken into consideration. 

To attribute them to hallncination is impossible. We 
know something about hallucinations; they have their causes* 
(We will discuss them later.) Persons who experience them 
are more or less predisposed to them, and have experienced 
several — often many — in the course of their lives* But our 
witnesses here are not of that kind, they have observed a 
psychical fact, as they would have done a physical fact, and 
have so recorded it. 

If cases of this kind had been hallocinations, illusions, 
freaks of the imagination, there would have been a much 
larger number of ihem reported thai had no coincidencB with a 
ieath than with such a coincidence* 

Now it is Just the contrary. My inquiries give proof of it, 
'I requested people to be so obliging as to furnish me with all 
kinds of cases, whether there was any coincidence with death 
or not. There are not more than seven or eight per cent, of 
cases of apparitions without such coincidence* The opposite 
thing would have occurred had we been dealing with hal- 
lucinations. 

We slionld also be forced to admit that the same hallucina- 
tions occurred to several persons at the same time — persons 
hundreds of miles apart from each other. 

It might he objected that, nevertheless, the cases report- 
ed may be hallucinations because only those that are ac- 
companied by such a coincidence are remembered and re- 
marked on. 

This objection cannot be sustained, for if you see your 
mother, father, husband, wife, or child appear to you it is 
impossible that such a thing should not strike you, even if it 
were not followed by a coincidence of death, nor could yon 
fail to remember it, 

187 



THE UNKNOWN 

All the cases here reported occurred to persons wide awake, 
and in their normal condition, as much as yon and I are at this 
moment. I have taken care to cite no case of manifestations 
or apparitions seen in dreams, and I have acted on the prin- 
ciple of making a methodical classification, clear and precise, 
of the phenomena that we are about to study. The study is 
essentially scientific, as much so as if it related to astronomy, 
physics, or chemistry. Dreams during sleep, visions seen in 
a state of somnambulism or hypnotism, presentiments or 
things foreseen, phenomena connected with what are called 
our " doubles," and things or persons evoked by mediums, 
will be treated of in other chapters. We wish to commence 
by the most convincingly reported facts, those easiest to ver- 
ify and to discuss in all freedom of mind. 

We have thus far only had to do with manifestations from 
the dying — that is, from persons still living. We will speak 
later of apparitions of the dead, whose explanation is dif- 
ferent. 

The last cases reported are from the grand work. Phan- 
tasms of the Living,^ published in London, in 1886, by Messrs 
Gurney, Myers, & Podmore, a work in two enormous vol- 
umes of 575 and 733 pages, containing the results (or what 
in French law are QdWeA prochs verhaux) of the inquiries rig- 
orously made by these three gentlemen on behalf of the 
Society for Psychical Eesearch, of which we have already 
spoken. It is impossible to study this collection without re- 
ceiving an impression that those who now persist in denymg 
such facts are like a blind man who denies the existence of 
the sun. In this inquiry there are reports of six hundred 
cases, arranged in the order of which we have spoken. And 
on my own part I have received more than eleven hundred, 
whose authenticity seems to me equally beyond doubt. We 

* This work appeared in French, in an excellent translation, published 
in 1891, by M. L. Marillier, master of conferences at the £)cole des 
Hautes Jl^tudes, under the inexact and misleading title of ffaUttciTicttioM 
Telepathiques, which has absolutely no meaning. It seems to us that the 
learned and careful translator was very badly inspired in making this 
change. An hallucination is essentially a false perception— an illusion. 

188 



mu 



ought, of 



to be able in all 



to verify their abso- 



coiirse^ to be able iti all cases 
late precision. The agreeitieiit that strikes ns between what 
was seen, what was beards what was felt, and the events re- 
corded, may possibly have been completed alter the event by 
the imagination of the narrators, and more or less arranged 
to suit the case. It would bo necessary to make minute in- 
quiries about every observation, to take, m short, all the pre- 
cautions we invariably take in our astronomieai observations, 
or our experiments in physics or chemistry, and more, too, for 
in this case we have something additional to deal with — a 
human coefficient, which is by no means to be overlooked 
or neglected. 

These precautions have not always been taken in such in* 
quiries, nor could they be, often because of the very nature 
of their phenomena, some having relation to the dead, and 
some to sorrows and sad remembrances, which could not be 
treated in the same kind of way as we did with an experiment 
in a laboratory. But because some narratives may not be 
quite correct as to certain minor details, is that any reason 
to think them of no vakio, and to treat them as if they were 
of no account ? We do not think so. 

These observations are too numerous not to be based on 
something real. And, besides, the wide-spread belief among 
all peoples, which associates these appearances with the dead, 
can hardly be without some foundation. No doobt, if every 
fact were proved to be false, their number would have no 
great value. But if we reduce them to their smallest ex- 
pression there will remain a substratum of trnth. I should like 
to compare them to the cosmic character of the Milky Way, 
Each of the stars which make up the Milky Way is smaller 
than a star of the sixth magnitude, and is invisible to the 
naked eye. It makes no impression on tlie human retina. 
Novortheless, taken all together the whole is perfectly visi- 
ble even to the naked eye, and is one of the beautiful and 
glorions things in the starry heaven. Even so it is the 
number of these facts which is an argument why we should 
not disregard them. 

The great philosopher, Emmannel Kant, once wrote: 

180 



THE UNKNOWN 

** Philosophy, who never fears to compromise herself by 
examining all kinds of foolish questions, is often much em- 
barrassed when she encounters on her march certain facts 
she dares not doubt, yet will not believe for fear of ridicule. 
This is the case with ghost stories. In short, there is no re- 
proach to which philosophy is more sensible than that of 
credulity, or the suspicion of any connection with vulgar 
superstitions. Those who cheaply assume the name of sa- 
vants, and insist on receiving the privileges due to learned 
men, mock at whatever (being as inexplicable to the savant sls 
it is to the ignorant) places both on the same level. That is why 
ghost stories are always listened to and well received in private, 
but pitilessly disavowed in public. We may take it for granted 
that no academy of science will ever choose such a subject 
for discussion, not because every one of its members is fully 
persuaded of the silliness and falseness of all these narra- 
tions, but because the law of prudence has wisely put a limit 
to the examination of such questions. Ghost stories will 
always have those who believe in them in secret, and willr 
be always received in public with an incredulity of good 
form. 

'^For my own part, ignorant as I am of the way in which 
the human spirit enters the world and the ways in which it 
goes out of it, I dare not deny the truth of many of such 
narratives that are in circulation. By a reserve, however, 
which to some may appear singular, I permit myself to hold 
in doubt each in particular, and yet to believe in them when 
all taken together. *' 

There are three courses that may be adopted concerning 
facts such as we have reported ; absolute belief in all we are 
told or know to be reported, absolute rejection of every- 
thing; or, thirdly, acceptation of the facts themselves when 
taken together, without affirming the complete exactness of 
all their details. It is this conclusion to which I think we 
ought to come. 

To deny everything would be the height of absurdity. 
Unless we decline to receive all human testimony, it does 
not seem possible to doubt the narratives that have been 

190 



ADMISSION OF FACTS 



given above. There are not many facts, historical or soientiflCj 
which are affirmed by bo many witnesses. 

To suppose that ail these persons had defective Bight, had 
been ** hallucinated/' or were ^' dupes of their own imagina- 
tion^" is an absolntely untenable hypothesiSj if we grant the 
coincidence of deaths. 

On the other hand, that which seems to establish their 
truth is the abundance of circumstantial details that often 
characterize them^ besides this, the apparitions corresponded 
exactly to Bubseqoently ascertained facts. They show a 
wound, a shot, a spear thrust, a split skull, a corpse at the 
bottom of a pit, a body stretched upon a beach, a man 
drowned, a man hung, the sound of a well-known voice, the 
style of weariug the hair, some especial garment, an attitude, 
and the date of a death dilfering from that in the official 
announcement, etc. I know very well, on the other hand, 
that we must receive with some doubt all human testimony; 
that after a few days the clearest events are often related 
differently by different persons, that the history of nations and 
the biographies of men are for the most part false. But, after 
all, we must take the human race as we find it, and, without 
expecting certainty, admit the relative and the probable- 
We cannot doubt that Louis XIV, revoked the Edict of 
Nantes, or that the remains of Kapoleon lie under the dome 
of the Invalideg. 

For our own part, we consider tho facts now before us such 
as cannot be denied — at least, if we take them all together, 
no unprejudiced mind can refuse to admit them. 

The principal objection, the only one that still remains for 
us to consider, is that which attributes these things to chance — 
that is, to fortuitous coincidences. People say to themselves, 
" Oh ! well — yes — some one saw or heard such and such a 
thing, and well !— a parent, a near relative, died at the same 
moment, but it was all chance.^* 

By limiting ourselves to a coincidence of twelve hours, be- 
fore or after the manifestation (in general, the coincidence is 
much nearer), we may remark that the average of annual 
human deaths is twenty-two out of a thousand persons. In 

191 



THE UNKNOWN 

a period of twenty-four hours it is 365 times less — that is to 
say, it averages 22 in 365,000, or 1 in 16,591, There are, 
therefore, 16,591 chances to 1 that the coincidence would 
not happen on the same day. This calculation is based upon 
a general average ; but if we take only young persons or those 
in the full strength of their age, the proportion would rise 
to eighteen thousand, nineteen thousand, twenty thousand. 

Now apparitions without coincidence, not being twenty 
thousand times, nor ten thousand times, nor five thousand 
times, nor a thousand times, nor a hundred times, nor even 
ten times more numerous than apparitions with coincidences, 
being indeed not equal, not half, nor a quarter, nor possibly a 
tenth of the manifestations that have been verified, we may con- 
elude that this shows a relation of cause and effect. 

We are not denying chance, or fortuitous coincidences. 
What we call chance, that is to say, something unknown to 
us in the forces at work, leads sometimes to real coincidences 
that are truly extraordinary. I will mention a few that are 
very remarkable. 

During the time I was writing my great book on the 
atmosphere, I was busy with the chapter on the force of the 
wind, and I was comparing several curious examples when 
the following thing took place: 

My study in Paris is lighted by three windows, one looks 
east on the Avenue de TObservatoire, another southeast to- 
wards the Observatory, the third to the south on to the Eue 
Cassini. It was the middle of summer. The first window 
was open, looking on the chestnut-trees of the avenue. The 
sky was clouded; the wind rose, and suddenly the third win- 
dow, which must have been badly fastened, was violently 
blown open by a gale from the southwest, which disarranged 
all my papers, and lifting the loose pages I had just written, 
carried them off in a sort of whirlwind among the trees. A 
moment after the rain came, a regular downpour. 

To go down and hunt for my pages would seem to me to 
be time lost, and I was very sorry to lose them. 

What was my surprise to receive, a few days later, from 
Lahure's printing-office, in the Eue de Fleurus, about half a 

192 



ADMISSION OF FACTS 



mile away from ^vliere I lived, that very chapter printed 
without one page missing. 

Remomberj it was a chapter on the strange doings of the 
'wind. 

What had happened ? 

A very simple thing. 

The porter of the printing-offico, who lived near the Obser* 
vatory, and who bronght me my proof -Bheets as lie went to 
breakfast^ when going back to his office noticed on the gronnd^ 
sodden by the rain, the leaves of my manuscript. He thonght 
he must have dropped them himself, and lie hastened to pick 
them np, and, having arranged them with great care, he took 
I them to the printing-office, telling no one of the affair. 

A little more, and some credulous person might have as- 
serted that it was the wind that had brought them to the 
printing-office. 

Here is another instance not leas singular. 

I promised a priest who blessed my marriage {In return 
for a dispensation that ho procured for me in spite, as it ap- 
peared, of a somewhat severe ecclesiastical regulation) to take 
him with me in a balloon. I should say that instead of tak- 
ing a train for our wedding Journey, we had decided to goby 
air. About ten days after the ceremony we started, with 
Jules Godard for our aeronaut, after having sent notice to the 
ahbe, who, unluckily, by a provoking combination of circnm- 
Btances, had been obliged to leave Paris to pass a few days at 
a little hermitage he owned on the banks of the Marne; con* 
sequently he had not received my note, which remained at his 
rooms in Paris waiting for liis return. Not seeing the abbe ar* 
rive at the gas-honse at the hour fixed for our departure, I was 
rather glad that our journeyj being incognito, would pass un- 
noticed, and I thought I could keep my promise to my friend 
another time. I desired , especially, not to bring him into 
trouble. There are a number of directions in which one may 
leave Paris in a balloon. Now our aerial ship took a course 
directly across the Marne, and precisely over the property of 
the abbe, who was sitting at table in his garden, and who, 
Beeing the balloon floating slowly over his head, fancied I had 
n 193 



THE UNKNOWN 

come to find him. He shonted to me, begging me to de- 
scend, and felt the greatest disappointment when he foand 
we were proceeding on our journey. Had some devil had us 
in charge he could not have done the thing better. But 
there nevertheless was nothing in it but the direction of the 
wind. 

Emile Deschamps, a distinguished poet, somewhat over- 
looked in these days, one of the authors of the libretto of the 
*' Huguenots," tells of a curious series of fortuitous coinci- 
dences as follows : 

In his childhood, being at a boarding-school at Orleans, he 
chanced to find himself on a certain day at table with a 
M. de Fortgibu, an emigre recently returned from England, 
who made him taste a plum-pudding, a dish almost unknown 
at that time in France. 

The remembrance of that feast had by degrees faded from 
his memory, when, ten years later, passing by a restaurant ou 
the Boulevard Poissoni^re, he perceived inside it a plum- 
pudding of most excellent appearance. 

He went in and asked for a slice of it, but was informed 
that the whole had been ordered by another customer. 
" M. de Fortgibu," cried the dajne du comptoir, seeing that 
Deschamps looked disappointed, '^ would you have the good- 
ness to share your plum-pudding with this gentleman ?" 

Deschamps had some difficulty in recognizing M. de Fort- 
gibu in an elderly man, with powdered hair, dressed in a 
colonel's uniform, who was taking his dinner at one of the 
tables. 

The officer said it would give him pleasure to offer part of 
his pudding to the gentleman. 

Long years had passed since Deschamps had even thought 
of plum-pudding, or of M. de Fortgibu. 

One day he was invited to a dinner where there was to be 
a real English plum-pudding. He accepted the invitation, 
but told the lady of the house, as a joke, that he knew 
M, de Fortgibu would be of the party, and he caused much 
amusement by giving the reason. 

The day came, and he went to the house. Ten guests 

194 



ADMISSION OF FACTS 

occupied the ten places at table, and a magnificent plum- 
pudding was served. They were beginning to laugh at 
Deschamps about his M. de Fortgibu, when the door opened 
and a servant announced : 

*^M. de Fortgibu/' 

An old man entered, walking feebly, with the help of a 
servant. He went slowly round the table, as if looking for 
somebody, and he seemed greatly disconcerted. Was it a 
vision ? or was it a joke ? 

It was the time of the Carnival, and Deschamps was sure it 
was a trick. But as the old man approached him he was 
forced to recognize M. de Fortgibu in person. 

" My hair stood up on my head," he said. ^* Don Juan, 
in the clief d'muvre of Mozart, was not more terrified by his 
guest of stone." 

All was soon explained* M. de Fortgibu had been asked 
to dinner by a friend who lived in the same house, but had 
mistaken the door of his apartment. 

There is really in this story a series of coincidences which 
confounds us, and we can understand the exclamation of the 
author when the remembrance of a thing so extraordinary 
occurred to him : ** Three times in my life have I eaten plum- 
pudding, and three times have I seen M. de Fortgibu ! A 
fourth time I should feel capable of anything ... or capa- 
ble of nothing !" 

Here is another chance combination : At a gaming-table 
at Monte Carlo, at roulette, the same number came up five 
times running. 

At this same game of roulette the red has been known to 
come up twenty - one times in succession, and the chances 
against this were two million to one.* 

Seldom does a year pass in Paris >7ithout a flower-pot fall- 

1 This kind of number, coming up at the first round, gives 85 louis for 
1 louis, or 700 francs ; for the second time, if the previous sum Ims been 
left on the table, 24,500 francs ; a third time, in the same way, would 
give 857,500 frnncs, but the rules of the bank will not permit this ; they 
fix the maximum of the stake at 9 louis. The bank allows no gain 
greater than 120,000 francs. 

195 



THE UNKNOWN 

ing from some fifth story and killing oatright some person 
quietly walking along the pavement. 

Who, then, can deny that there are surprising coinci- 
dences ? Yes, the little god, chance, sometimes produces ex- 
traordinary results, and I am quite ready to acknowledge it ; 
but let us at the same time acknowledge that chance does not 
explain everything. 

I will now commit my argument to the following reasoning, 
due to Professor Charles Bichet, concerning chance, as 
regarded from the point of view of mathematical certainty, 
and moral certainty as well.* 

Chance may be expressed by a figure which stands for 
probability. Thus if in drawing a card by chance out of a 
whole pack I draw the six of hearts, it is chance which has 
given it to me, and chance only, for I shall never know (if 
the cards were all in suit and if the pack' had been well 
shuffled) why I should have drawn out the six of hearts rather 
than any other card. 

It is chance, therefore, which gave me the six of hearts, 
but this chance can be expressed in figures. I had in a pack 
of fifty-two cards only one chance in fifty-two for drawing the 
six of hearts; for drawing a six of any suit, one chance in 
thirteen for drawing a heart, one chance in four; and for 
drawing a red card, one chance in two. In short, I had 
fifty-one chances out of fifty-two for not drawing any card 
named in advance. 

In like manner I can assign mathematically to this or that 
event a probability which can be expressed in figures. But 
our great difficulty is not in the calculation of different 
mathematical problems, though that, if we go further, may 
prove at last so difficult as to embarrass the greatest mathe- 
maticians. The real difficulty is in applying mathematical 
laws to real events. It is proved by mathematics that the 
calculation of probabilities is only applicable if there are 
an infinite number of chances. It is otherwise not true. 



^ Belatians de diverses expiriences sur la transmission mentale, etc. 
Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, June, 1888. 

196 



ADMISSION OF FACTS 



Thus: I have a pack of cards before me. I have only one 
chance in fifty-two to draw the six of hearts, and yet it is 
possible that I may draw that card. There ia nothing to 
prevent it, and, at any rate, it is as prohable as my drawing any 
other card named to me. This little prohability is not to be 
overlooked. I should therefore be unreasonable were I to 
conclude what might be the result of an experiment when, 
having named beforehand the six of hearts, that was precisely 
the card I drew* If, taking another pack of cardsj after 
having well shuffled them, I want to draw out again the six 
of hearts, the probability will be very slight (52 x52=-jpji^) ; 
but it is not impossiMe. It could be done, it has been done, 
and the combination of one six of hearts, followed by another 
six of hearts, is as probable as the combination of any other 
two cards of the same kind. 

If X take a tliird pack of cards, then a fourth, and then a 
fifth, I shall have, if I still wish to draw a six of hearts, proba- 
bilities much greater against me, for the number of possible 
combinations becomes immense. But great as t!iey are, we 
t do not reach impossibility. It would always be possible that 
chance might bring about the combination wanted, and that 
combination would have as many chances as any other. 

We should have to reach the infinite to arrive at the impos- 
sible. In other words, the certainty that I cannot draw the 
six of hearts would only happen if I drew an indefinite num- 
ber of times. Never could I reach mathematical certainty, 
or, rather, I could oidy reach it if I were given the oppor- 
tunity to draw an infinite number of times. 

If, then, mathematical certainty is what is wanted, we can 
come to no conclusion, for it could not be reached without 
an infinite number of trials* 

But, happily, in most cases we can arrive at a conclusion, for 
mathematical certainty and moral certainty arc two different 
things. 

Suppose that one day I stake my honor, my life, the honor 

and the life of those belonging to me, and all I hold most 

(clear. Of course I can have no mathematical certainty that 

out of a hundred times that I draw^ the six of hearts will not 

1»7 



THE UNKNOWN 

cpme ont a hundred times running. Mathematically^ and in 
truth, this combination is possible, but nevertheless I would 
willingly consent to bet my life, my honor, my fortune, my 
country, and all I love, against the probability that the six of 
hearts will not be drawn one hundred times running. 

It would not be necessary to go as far as a hundred draw- 
ings. If I drew the six of hearts ten times running, instead 
of saying, *^ It is a most surprising chance,^' I should at once 
suppose that there was some cause for it which I did not 
know ; for chance does not give the same card ten times in 
succession. I should be so entirely convinced of this that I 
should at once try to find the cause. I should look if the 
cards in the pack were all alike ; if it were not a trick played 
on me by a prestidigitator, if in the pack there were really 
fifty-two different cards, or if each pack were not composed 
of fifty-two of the six of hearts. 

Let us take a less startling probability. For example, th6 
probability of drawing twice in succession the same card. 
Even this is a very small probability — one out of 2704. If 
bets on it were mathematically laid, it would be a bet of one 
franc to 2704 francs that the six of hearts could not be twice 
drawn in succession from the same pack. 

In fact, in our every-day life, that which regulates our con- 
duct, which influences our convictions and our decisions, are 
probabilities much less great than this of -jfVoT- ^ ™ft^ 
thirty-five years old, in good health, who is exposed to no 
particular danger, has one chance in a hundred of dying be- 
fore the end of the year, and one chance in three thousand 
that he may die within a fortnight. Who is there, however, 
who does not think he is certain to live more than two weeks ? 
By comparing the chances of life to the drawing out of a cer- 
tain card from a pack, one sees that the probability of getting 
the same card four times running is about equal to the prob- 
ability that a man of thirty-five, in good health, and not ex- 
posed to any especial danger, will not live an hour. Mathe- 
matically no one is quite sure that he will live an hour, but 
morally he feels it to be almost a complete certainty. 

Now let us take an example from jurymen trying a case !n 

198 



ADMISSION OF FACTS 



which the penalty is death. With rare exceptions they have 
BO positive certainty that the accnsed is guilty^ for though 
the probability of liis innocence may be very small, yet it is 
almost always greater than j^j' ^^ "^^^J accessory circnm- 
stances might make the verdict of gnilty false ! Perhaps there 
were false witnesses. Did the witnesses see clearly? Was 
the confession of the accnsed a true one? Who knows but 
there might have been some conspiracy to ruin him ? There 
may be a quantity of unknown circnnisfcances which take 
away mathematical certainty bnt leave the mora! certainty 
of the guilt of the accused nnim paired. 

Thus we arc never guided by mathematical certainty, Al- 
ways in our daily life, even in the most certain cases, it is 
moral certainty that guides us. It is sufficient ; and we act 
upon it, without asking for more. Even the savaHi who 
makes material experiments which seem to have certain re- 
sults, ought to remember that he cannot count on mathemat- 
ical certainty, for things unknown to him at the present 
moment may step in and take away the character of absolute 
certainty which can only bo given by mathematics. 

It remains for iis to know if we are right when we are con- 
tent to be guided by strong probabilities— strong probabilities 
but by no means certainties. Are we reckless when we con- 
clude, as we do continually, that we shall live more than an 
hour, that we shall not be crushed in a railroad train, that 
the prisoner, whom a mass of evidently veracious testimony 
charges with a crime, is guilty, that the determination of 
three chemical or physical mcasnres is snflicient to give an 
exact result. 

It seems evident that we could not live if we had to base 
all our conduct upon certainties. Nowhere is there certainty ; 
everywhere there are only probabilities, and we are right to 
act on them, for experience for the most part justifies us in so 
doing, 

*'For my own part," adds M. Richet, speaking abont 
psychic inilnencea, ''I consider that the world-wide illnsion 
on this subject would be impossible if that illusion contained 
no particle of truth. We have no right to exact for psychical 

100 



THE UNKNOWN 

phenomena stronger probability than we exact for other 
sciences; and with probabilities above one thousand in its 
favor^ we ought to feel we have a sufficiently vigorous demon- 
stration. 

^' There are so many tacts inexplicable, unless we admit 
telepathy, that we must end by acknowledging the existence 
of some action from a distance. What matters about theory! 
The fact seems to me proved — abundantly ^rov^rf." 

We assert that having here collected all these telepathic 
observations, probability is increased, at least so far as mani- 
festations from the dying are concerned, to several millions, 
in which the coincidence of death has taken place within an 
hour, and when tlie person who received the manifestation 
had no reason to think his friend was in danger of dissolu- 
tion.* 

' The inquiries of the Psychical Society of London have led to the fol- 
lowing result (Dariex, Ann. des Sciences Psych,, 1891, p. 800) : 

There is one visual hallucination for every two hundred and forty-eight 
persons. On looking into the probability of a fortuitous coincidence be- 
tween the death of the agent (A) with the hallucination of the pci*cipient 
(B) we reach the following results : 

which shows that the probability of real telepathic action is 4,114,545 
times more probable than the hypothesis of fortuitous coincidence. 
Four million one hundred and fourteen thousand five hundred and forty-five 
times more probable. Here are figures which have their own eloquence. 

We thus arrive at a fantastic probability if we suppose that in all cases 
the coincidence of the hallucination and the death took place twelve 
hours before or twelve hours after — that is to say, during a lapse of time 
of twenty -four hours. But how much more fantastic will this probability 
become if we take into consideration much closer coincidences, and, 
above all, if we calculate the sum of probabilities in a case where the coin- 
cidence immediately took place. Let us take, for example, to show the 
value of this argument, the following case recorded in the Phantasms of 
the Living, 

Nicholas S and Frederick S , both employed in the same office, 

had been friends for eight years. They thought a great deal of each 

other. On Monday, March 19, 1883, when Frederick S came to the 

office he complained of having suffered from indigestion. He went to 
consult a doctor, who told him that his liver was in a very bad state, 
and gave him some medicine. On Thursday he did not seem to be much 

200 



ADMISSION OF FACTS 

This proportion is much larger than that on which we have 
founded our reasouing, and by wliicii we regulate our daily 
lives. This is what we call moral CBriainty. Therefore, we 
may coDchide that the theory of chauce, and of fortuitons 



belter. Saturday lie did not come to llic office, and Kicliolas learned 
that bis friend had been examined by a pliysician, wlio advised him to 
rest for two or lliree daya, but did wot think anyiluDg serious was the 
matter. Tiiis same Saturday, March 24, towards eveuing, being seated 
iu bis chamber, HichoUis saw his friend standing before him, dressed as 
usual. He particularly noticed his clothes— his hat had a black ribbon, 
Lis overcoat was unbuttoned, and be bad a cane in ids hand* etc. The 
spectre fixed his eyes upon his friend, and then disappeared. This 
recalled to Ihc mind of Nicholas the words of Job : '' A spirit passed 
before men and the hair of my flesh stood up.'' At this moment he felt 
an icy chill, and his hnir stood up on his head. Then he turned to bia 
wife and asked her what time it was. ** Twelve minutes to nine,'* she 
nnswered. Then be said : "The reasoa I asked was that Frederick is 
dead. I have just seen him/' Sbe tried to persuade him that this was only 
Jiis imagination, but he assured her that the vision had been so distinctly 
impressed upon bia brain thsit no argument could change his opinion. 

The nest day, Sunday, at three in the af lernoon, Frederick's brother 
came to tell his friend of hia death, which happened the night before 
about nine o*clock. 

The wife of the narrator confirmed his testimony as follows i 

" Last 24th of March, in the evening, I was seated at a table reading ; 
my husband was sitting on a chair placed at one corner of the hearth 
against the wall. He asked me what o*clock it was. When I answered it 
was twelve minutes to nine, he said: 'The reason I asked you is that 
Frederick is dead. I have just seen him/ I answered: * What nonsense ! 
You know he is not even ilL I assure you you will see him qtiitc well 
when you go to tbe office next Tuesday/ Nevertheless, my husband 
persisted in saying that he bad seen his friend, and was sure of his 
death. I then noticed that ho looked much troubled aod was very 
pale. Mahia R" 

The brother of the deceased also confirmed the story in a letter agree- 
ing exactly with the two previous accounts. lie furlber declares that 
he was the more struck by the occurrence because he has always been 
opposed to sueh ideas. 

In this remarkable case there is no doubt that the death occurred dur- 
^ng the twenty-five minutes that passed between twenty -five minutes to 
Bine and nine o'clock. The friend had his vision at twelve minutes to 
dine. If the coincidence of the two events is not absolute, it is any- 

201 



THE UNKNOWN 

coincidences, will not explain the facts observed and those 
that we have here recorded. It ought to be eliminated, and 
we must admit that there is between the person dying and the 
observer a rapport of cause and effect. This is, indeed, the 
first point that we have to establish in our scientific exami- 
nation. Yes, chance and fortuitous coincidences do exist, 
but they will not explain these things. There is a relation of 
cause and effect between the dying person and the one by whom 
the impressions are received. 

Apropos of a case, of which we shall speak later, cited in 
'^ Phantasms of the Living," M. Eaphael Chandos wrote in 
the Revue des Deux Mondes, 1887, p. 211 : 

'^ We cannot suspect the good faith of the narrators, nor, 
up to a certain point, the correctness of their observations. 
But is this all that is necessary ? M. Bard saw near a cem- 
etery the apparition of Madame de FrSville passing before 
him at the very moment when Madame de Fr^villo, who he 
did not know was ill, was dying, and people tell ns why may 

how not possible to suppose, even taking an extreme view of the case, 
that there was an interval of more than twelve minutes. 

We have seen that the probability of death during a stated period of 
twenty-four hours is ^^J^x^Jy for an adult of any age, but for men of 
forty-eight (which was the age of Frederick) it is ^}f^f the official 
figures given by the tables of mortality. We have, therefore, for the 
probability of death each day ^yy^y x ^ = ^^y^. During a period of 
time of twelve minutes, continued 120 times in the twenty-fours hours, 
it would be 120 times less, that is to say, ^'x^Xy^^ x ^|^, and instead of 
the equation, 

we shall have this equation, 

In the present case the probability of telepathic action, as compared 
with the probability of a fortuitous coincidence, is in the proportion of 

EIGHT HUNDRED AND FOUR MILLIONS SIX HUNDRED AND TWENTY-TWO 
THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-TWO tO ONE. The faCt here 

related is particularly precise. Let us logically add to it the preceding 
one numbered CLXXXI. I think we ought to feel satisfied with a 
probability of several millions, as I have just said, because we must take 
into account cases when the person who died was known to be ill, and 
his friends might have been thinking of his death. 

202 



ADMISSION OF FACTS 



not cliancc, Tvhicli brings about extmordinarj eneonnters, 
have brought this woman's form before him in Imlhicina' 
tion ? 

'Mn tnitli, this argument seeins to me a miserable one, 
and much more easy to refyte than one that supposes that 
the observation may have been incomplete and insufficient ; 
but nevertheless this futile objection is the one most com- 
monly brought forwarth People say, *0h! it was only an 
hallacination/ And suppose this hallucination coincided 
with some real occurrence that was due to a fortuitous coin- 
cidence, and not because tliere was between the event and 
the halkicination a relation of cause and effect." 

Chance is a \'ery convenient little divinity, whom we can 
lalways invoke in embarrassing circumstances. But with this 
lease chance liad nothing to do. M. Bard, in the sixty years 
of his life seems to have had one hallucination, and only one, 
tliat makes 1 out of 23,000 chances a day against such a 
thing happening to him. If we admit that the coinci- 
dence between the time of Madame de Fre villous death and 
the time of his hallucination is exact, that would make (as 
there are forty-eight half -hours in a day) a chance of about 
one in a mil lion. 

I '''But this is not enough. M< Bard might have had other 
hallnci nations, for he knows one hundred persons as well as 
he knew Madame de Freville. The probability of seeing on a 
certain day at a certain hour Madame de Fr^ville, rather than 
any other of his friends, is therefore approximately one milHon* 
**If I take four analogous cases and put them all four to- 
gether, the probability of having font coincidences is not 
more than a hundred million, but a fraction whose numer- 
ator sliould be one with a denominator that had thirty-six 
zeros, makes an absurd number, too great to be grasped by 
human intelligence, and amounting to absolute certainty, 

'*We will therefore set aside this hypothesis of chance. 
There is no chance in the case. If any one insists there is, 
we will repeat the old experiment of throwing the alphabet 
into the air. Nobody will imagine that the letters as they 
fall will reproduce the entire IliaiL 

203 



THE UNKNOWN 

" Therefore, neither the good faith of observers can be 
called in question, nor can the chance of extraordinary for- 
tuitous coincidences be invoked. We must admit that we 
liave real facts to deal with. However improbable the thing 
may seem, these hallucinations verily exist, they have now 
gained a footing in science, whatever some people may say, 
and they will stay there.*' 

Our readers who have taken the trouble to read all the 
letters published in these previous chapters will have come 
to the conclusion, in the first place, that there are many things 
we do not k7ioto. The domain of telepathy opens a new 
world for us to explore. 

Our collection of facts taken in the mass are incontro- 
vertible. They support each other. 

In the course of the general discussion which took place in 
leading newspapers all the world over with reference to my 
supposed renunciation of psychic investigations, I have sev- 
eral times seen the following objection raised against re- 
searches in telepathy. '^ In order that such facts may be 
scientifically admitted, we must be able to reproduce them at 
will ; ad in the case with all other scientific facts. '* 

This is an error in reasoning. These facts are not in the 
domain of experiment^ but in that of observation. 

Such reasoning amounts to this: '^ I won't believe in the 
effects of lightning unless they can be reproduced. I won't 
admit that there can be an aurora borealis until I see one 
made before me ; make me a comet with its fiery tail or an 
eclipse, or else I don't believe in them." 

This confusion between observation and experiment is very 
common. 

Our facts, we say, belong to observatio?i, not to experiment. 
We can verify them, but we cannot reproduce them. Their 
study is the same order of study as that of astronomy, of 
meteorology, not that of physics and chemistry. We observe 
an eclipse, a comet, an aerolite, a flash of lightning, an au- 
rora borealis ; we make experiments in chemistry, or we ex- 
periment with any optical or acoustic phenomenon ; the two 
methods are different. Both are scientific, and may be 

204 



ADMISSION OF FACTS 



classed untler tlie general title of experimental, since it i^ 
human experience by wliicli they must be judged, and not by 
previous theories, ideas, beliefs, priucipleSj or aiithorifcies. 
We no longer submit to the magister dixiL 

We often hear persons say, with surprise, that certain 
th ings, more or less burlesque, inexplicable, and ineoherent, oc* 
cur in these cases, while others, which would seem more natu- 
ral and simple to our childish knowledge, are not produced. 
Why should a lieavy door close -shut fiy suddenly open? 
Why should a great racket be made in a room ? Why shook! 
II light be seen, or a noise heard? Why should there be a 
vision ? Science and observation of tlie phenomena of nat* 
urc and of the processes of manufacture teach ns, how- 
ever, to modify our surprise, and to enlarge the field of our 
conceptions. Look, for example, at a hogshead of dyna- 
mite, a thousand times more terrible than gunpowder in its 
destructive power. Dynamite is exceptionally susceptible, 
and every one remembers catastroplies caused by the small- 
est imprudence in handling it. AYith this hogshead you 
may destroy a city. Now try to set fire to this explosive 
substance, and yon will not be able to do so. You must have 
the detonating fuse before the explosion can set its thunder- 
ous effects at work. You may light a dynamite cartridge 
with impunity if it has not this fuse, and no detonation will 
take place ; the dynamite will burn up until there is nothing 
left of it. But give it a blow with a hammer, and a terrible 
explosion will take place. 

Now set a light on the top of a barrel of gunpowder, light 
the least little match, scat yourself on the barrel, and then 
see what will happen. 

We need not be surprised at what seems singular to us in 
psychic phenomena. 

Wo are natorally disposed to deny anything that seems im- 
possible, anything we know nothing about, or what we can- 
not understand. If we read in Herodotus or Pliny that a 
woman had a breast on her left thigh, and therewith suckled 
her infant, we laugh heartily at such nonsense. And yet a 
similar fact was established before the Academy of Science 

205 



THE UNKNOWN 

in Paris, at its meeting June 28, 1827- If anybody tells us 
that a man after his autopsy was found to contain a child in 
his interior, and we are informed further that this child was his 
twin brother, inclosed before birth in his organism, that the 
child grew old, and even had a beard, we look upon the 
story as a mere fable. Yet I saw myself not long ago a 
still-born infant fifty-six years of age. Larcher, a translator 
of Herodotus, writes thus: "To say that Boxana bore a 
child with no head is an absurd assertion, capable in itself 
of destroying the authority of Ctesias.^' Now all medical 
dictionaries tell us in our own day of headless infants. 
These instances, and many others like them, suggest wisdom 
and prudence. It is only the ignorant who can venture to 
deny things without misgiving. 

We could give more of these examples, but it would be of 
no use. We have cited sufficient for our readers. 

Let us rest satisfied with the conclusion that the facts 
we have reported can be, and ought to be, admitted by the 
experimental method. Now let us turn for a moment to 
"hallucinations," whose existence we do not doubt; but 
they will not solve our problem, which is based on and con- 
firmed by precise and incontestible coincidences. 



CHAPTER V 
HALLUCINATIONS, PBOPEBLY SO CALLED 

My readers would be in error if they concluded from what 
has been written in preceding chapters that I do not admit 
that there are hallncinations, and that I am not willing to 
give them the consideration that ought to belong to them. 
But I think there are distinctions and definitions that ur- 
gently require first to be made clear. 

There are real hallucinations — that is, illusions, errors, false 
sensations. Some of these are experienced by nervous peo- 
ple, some by persons in bad health or greatly fatigued, 
some by persons out of their minds ; but others have been 
experienced by those who were perfectly healthy both in 
mind and body. Formerly doctors only admitted that the 
former could have such experiences. This was an error of 
ignorance. 

Hallucinations are illusions of thought and brain, and it is 
important not to think that they are anything else ; not to 
suppose, for instance (as we might think from the title of a 
book much spoken of. Hallucinations veridiqnes), that there 
can be real hallucinations. From the moment that the 
impression made can be considered real, the result of an ex- 
terior cause acting on the mind or brain, it loses its hal- 
lucinatory character and enters the order of facts. This dis- 
tinction becomes of the utmost importance. The difBiculty 
before us is to separate what is error or illusion from that 
which is reality in the veiy confused details of these phe- 
nomena. 

The Dictionary of the Academy defines hallucination, 
*' error, illusion of a person whose perceptions are not con- 

207 



THE UNKNOWN 

formed to reality " {erreur, illusion d'une personne dont les 
perceptions ne sont pas conforme d la realite). This explana- 
tion is yagne and confused, and can be applied to other 
things besides hallucinations. We cannot be satisfied with 
such a definition. Littre says: '^ Perception of sensations 
without any exterior object to give birth to them.'* {Per- 
ception des sensations sans auctm objet exterieur qui les fasse 
nattre.) This is rather more clear and precise. In a paper 
on visual hallucination Dr. Max Simon writes: *' Hallucina- 
tion consists in a sensory perception without any exterior ob- 
ject which gives rise to it." {Ulmllucination consiste en une 
perception soisorielle sans objet exterieur qui la fasse ncUtre.) 
This definition is certainly one, like that of Littre, which cor- 
responds to the general idea, and we will adopt it. The es- 
sential thing is to agree upon this point — viz., that hallucina- 
tion is a sensation entirely subjective, an erroneous, a false 
perception. 

Brierre de Boismont has written on hallucinations* a most 
interesting book, which has now become a classic, in which 
the doctor, whose specialty is in cases of mental derangement, 
plays a leading part, but in which he takes care always to ob- 
serve that all hallucinations are not the same thing as in- 
sanity, and calls our attention to the fact that on the one 
hand the history of Chrigtianity is full of such facts, especial- 
ly in its early ages, and on the other hand, that more than 
one hallucination took place when the brain was in a perfect- 
ly healthy state. This book may be considered as one of the 
first attempts of independent scientific thought to oppose the 
classic pathological theory, and to establish that in certain 
cases hallucination may be considered a purely physiological 
phenomenon. Furthermore, as the writer is a declared par- 
tisan of the principle of the duality of man^s nature, he re- 
jects the opinion that all insanity proceeds from nervousness, 
and that our right senses are the result of what is physiologi- 
cal and material. ** Ideas," he says, *' belong to an order 

1 Les hallucinations, ou histoire raisonnee des apparitions, des visions, 
des songes, de Vextase, du magnetisme et du somnambulisme, Paris, 1853. 



LALLUCINATIONS, PROPERLY SO CALLED 

differing from sensations. Psychological facts cannot be put 
on the same line as things that we can feel. The hrain is in- 
deed the seat of intellectual opemtions, but it is not their 
creator,'' Brierre de Boismont may be considered the pre- 
cursor of all who have labored to investigate psychical prob- 
lems, though the word hallucination has retained, in spite of 
this grand treatise, its pathological and medical meaning. It 
will be better to give here a few examples of different kinds 
of hallucinations, 

■ Hallucination is a waking dream. Dreams sometimes pro- 
duce hallucinations which offer all the characteristics of real 
ones. 

The hallucinations of madness, the eccentricities of mental 
derangement are so numerous, so varied, and so well known, 
that it would be superfluous to dwell upon them. Works of 
doctors on mental maladies are full ol them, and any one 
may consult these hooks without difiScnlty, Besides, they 
haye nothing in common with the facts we are considering. 
Let UB choose only cases well observed and well described by 
those who have experienced them. We will borrow what fol- 
lows from the work of Doctor Ferrier, of Manchester, who 
liad it from Kicolal, the author, at Berlin.' It is somewhat 
old, but it is typical : 

"During the last ten months of the year 1T90," says this 
academician, '"I had had some troubles which greatly affected 
me. Doctor Dolle, who w^as in the habit of bleeding me 
twice a year, judged it best this year to take from me only 
one emission of blood. On February '24, ITUi, after an excit- 
ing dispute, I saw, suddenly, about ten feet away from me, a 
figure of death, I asked my wife if she saw it. My question 
greatly alarmed her, and she sent at once for a doctor. The 
apparition lasted eight minutes. At four in the afternoon 
the same thing reappeared. I was then alone. Much troub- 
led by this^ I went to my wife's room. There the Tision 
jCollowed me. At ten o'clock I could see several figures 



' Sec Sir Walter Scottt ZkmoTiolagy Letter, 1, and Brierre dc B0I3- 
moQt I>e$ hallucinaiiam. 



THE UNKNOWN 

which seemed to have no connection with the first. When 
the first emotion had passed I looked steadily at the phan- 
toms, taking them for what they really were, the result of in- 
disposition. Penetrated by this idea, I observed them with 
the greatest care, trying to discover by what association of 
ideas these forms could have presented themselves to my im- 
agination. But I could discover no connection with my oc- 
cupations, my thoughts, or my studies. The next day the 
figure of death disappeared, but it was replaced by a great 
number of other figures, sometimes like my friends, but gener- 
ally those of strangers. Persons with whom I was in the habit 
of associating bore no part in these apparitions, which were 
entirely composed of people living more or less at a distance. 
I tried to bring up persons I knew by thinking intensely of 
how they looked, but though I saw distinctly in my mind one 
or two of them, I could not succeed in making what I saw 
with the mind's eye take an exterior form, though involun- 
tarily I had often seen my friends in that manner. My state 
of mind enabled me not to confound these false impressions 
with reality. 

" These visions were as clear and distinct in solitude as in 
company, by day as at night, in the street as in my own house. 
When I shut my eyes they sometimes disappeared, though in 
some cases they were visible. But as soon as I opened my 
eyes they reappeared. In general these figures, which be- 
longed to both sexes, seemed to pay little attention to each 
other, and walked about as if intent on something, like peo- 
ple in a market-place. Sometimes, however, they seemed to 
have something to say to each other. At various times I saw 
men on horseback, dogs, and birds. They had nothing par- 
ticular in their looks, their stature, or their clothing, only they 
seemed somewhat paler than was natural. 

*^ After about four weeks the number of these apparitions 
increased. I began to hear them speak. Sometimes they 
spoke to me; what they said was generally agreeable. At 
various times they seemed to me like kind and sympathetic 
friends who wished to comfort me. 

*^ Although my mind and body were both at this time in 

210 



HALLUCINATIONS, PROPERLY SO CALLED 

good order, and though the spectres had become so familiar 
that they did not in the least disquiet me, I tliought it better 
to get rid of them by suitable remedies. It was decided that 
I should have an application of leeches, which took place 
April 20, 1791, at eleven o'clock iu the morning. The doctor 
was alone with me; during the operation my room was filled 
with human figures of all kinds* This hallucination con- 
tinued without interruption until half-past four, the hour at 
which digestion begins, I then perceived that the phantoms 
began to move more slowly. Soon after they grew fainter; at 
seven o^clock they were all white, and their movements were 
slow though their forms were as distinct as ever. By degrees 
they became vaporous, and seemed to melt into air. At eight 
the whole chamber was free from these fantastic visitors. 

" Since then I have twice or thrice fancied that the visions 
were about to reapp^ar^ but nothing of the kind has taken 
place/' 

Now this is a case of hall nciuat ion that is real and in con- 
test! ble. 

The writer carefully analyzed his sensations, and took care 
to point out that this astounding disorder in his mind might 
be explained by tlie influence of his griefs and by the dis- 
order in the circulation of the brain which followed it. 

Sir Walter Scott also relates iu his Demonohf^i/ that a pa- 
tient of the eminent Doctor Gregory, having sent for that 
physician, told hiiu iu the following words of his singular 
Bufferings : 

" 'I am accustomed/ he said, ^to dine at fire o'clock, and 
when six o'clock comes I have a singular visit. The door of 
my room opens suddenly, even when I have been cowardly 
enough to bolt it, and an old witch enters. She looks like 
one of those upon the heath of Fores. Slie has a menacing 
and angry air, and comes up to me with gestures of contempt 
and indignation, such as the witches might have worn who 
visited Abdallah iu the Oriental tales. She springs at me so 
suddenly that I cannot avoid her, and gives me a sharp blow 
with her crutch, I fail from my chair tmcouscious, and I 
stay unconscious for some time. Every day I am at the 

311 



THE UNKNOWN 

mercy of this apparition, and this is my wonderful subject of 
complaint/ 

" The doctor asked him at once if he had ever invited any 
one to dine with him to witness such a visit. He answered 
'no/ What he had to complain of was so peculiar that he 
did not like to speak of it. People would of course attribute 
it to mental derangement, and he had not mentioned it to 
any one. * Then/ said the doctor, ' if you will allow me, I 
will come and dine with you to-day Ute-drtHe, and we shall 
see if the old woman will come and trouble us.' The patient, 
who had expected that the doctor would laugh at him, and 
not that he would feel compassion for him, gladly accepted 
the proposal. They dined together, and Doctor Gregory, who 
suspected some disorder of the nerves, exerted all his powers 
of conversation, told the most various and brilliant stories^ 
trying to captivate the attention of his host and prevent him 
from thinking that the fatal hour drew near. 

^'His success was even greater than he had dared to hope. 
Six o'clock came and excited no attention. But a few min- 
utes later the monomaniac cried in a voice of anguish, ' Here 
comes the witch !' and falling back in his chair he lost con- 
sciousness.'' 

This phantom with a crutch is very like what people see in 
nightmare ; oppression on the chest and suffocation often 
lead to images in the brain. Any sudden noise heard by the 
sleeper, if he does not wake at once, or any sensation anal- 
ogous to touch, is assimilated in the dream, in some way is 
connected with it, and enters into the current of the dream, 
whatever that may be, and nothing is more remarkable than 
the rapid way in which the imagination proceeds to incorpo- 
rate any sudden sound into the dream, according to the 
dream-ideas already existed. If, for example, the dream was 
of a duel, the sounds heard are in an instant converted into 
pistol shots. If the dreamer was thinking of an orator 
making a speech, the sounds change into plaudits from an au- 
dience ; if the sleeper is wandering among ruins, the noise be- 
comes the fall of some portion of the walls. In a word, a 
system of explanation is adopted during sleep with such ra- 

212 



HALLUCINATIONS, PROPEKLY S< 

piditj> that suppoaiog that the sharp, sudden noise which has 
half-awakened the sleeper to have beea a loud call, the ex- 
planation in the brain of the sleeper will have taken place, 
and he will have recovered before a second call has roused 
him to the world of realities. The succession of o or ideas in 
sleep is so rapid and intuitive that it offers us an explanation 
of the vision of Mohammed, who hat! time to mount op to the 
seventh heaven before the jar of water, which had fallen at 
the beginning of his ecstasy, wag entirely emptied, when he 
recovered his senses, 

But we will no longer occupy ourselves with sleep and 
dreams, which will form the sabject of a succeeding chapter, 
let us here only take account of hallucinations. 

There is a phenomenon experienced by very many persons, 
among them Alfred Maury, with whom I have talked about 
it several times, wiiich throws great light on the production 
of dreams; they are hallucinations immediately preceding 
sleep or wakening* These images, these fantastic sensations, 
take place at the moment when sleep is just overcoming ns, 
or when we are as yet only partially aw^akened. They are a 
different order of hallucinations from those to which we prop* 
erly apply the word hypnagogic^ derived from two Greek 
words, v-Kvoq sleep, dywytvc thai which leads, a conductor^ the 
union of which indicates the moment when the hallucination 
generally manifests itself. 

Persons who most frequently experience these hypnagogic 
manifestations have constitations easily excited, and general- 
ly liable to an enlargement of the heart, to epicarditis, or to 
trouble in the brain. This was confirmed by Alfred Maury 
from his own experience J 

'TMy hallucinations,^" he writes, ** are most numerous, and, 
above all, most vivid* when I have, as I have often, a dispo- 
sition to congestion of the brain* As soon as I suffer from 
severe headache, as soon as I experience nervous pains in my 
eyes, the hallucinations begin when I have closed my eyelids. 
It is thus that I explain why I always have them when travel- 



^Le sommeil el lu Mces. 
213 



THE UNKNOWN 

ling by diligence. After having spent a night in the vehicle, 
want of sleep and broken sleep always bring on one of my 
headaches. One of my cousins, Gustavo L., who has the 
same hallucinations, has made remarks on them analogous to 
my owiT. When I have been busy with any difficult work 
in the evening,^' he continues, " the hallucinations never fail 
to assail me. A few years ago, when I had passed two con- 
secutive days translating a long and very difficult passage 
from the Greek, I saw, as soon as I was in bed, such a num- 
ber of figures round me, moving and changing so rapidly, 
that in a fright I sprang up in my bed, hoping by movement 
to get rid of them. But when I am in the country and have 
a quiet mind, I very rarely experience the phenomenon. 

"Champagne or cafe noir with me, even if taken in very 
small quantities, brings on insomnia and headache, always 
disposing me to hypnagogic visions. But in this case they 
do not appear until after a considerable interval, when I have 
been several hours trying in vain to get to sleep, and sleep 
seems on the point of coming upon me. 

" I would add, in support of these observations, which 
seem to point to congestion of the brain as one of the marked 
causes of hallucinations, that all those I have met who have 
had the same experience have told me that they were subject 
to headache, while other persons (my mother being one of 
them), who seem to know nothing of headache, tell me they 
never have had such hallucinations.^^ 

This observation shows us that the phenomenon has some 
connection with the excitement of the nervous system, and 
a tendency to congestion of the brain. 

Hypnagogic hallucination is an indication that when sleep 
is coming on, sensorial and cerebral activity grows weak. In 
reality, when these hallucinations begin the mind has ceased 
to be attentive. It no longer pursues its voluntary and logi- 
cal order of thought, or of reflection; it gives its imagination 
free play, and becomes the passive witness of whatever it cre- 
ates or puts an end to at its pleasure. This condition of non- 
attention, of intellectual non-tension, we may say, is in prin- 
ciple necessary for the production of these phenomena, and 

214 



HALLUCINATIONS, PROPERLY SO CALLED 

it explains why they are the precursors of sleep. For in order 
to yield to sleep onr intelligence mast retire in some way, 
mast loosen its springs, and place itself in a state of semi- 
torpor. Now the commencement of this state is precisely that 
which is necessary for the production of hallucinations. The 
retreat of attention may be either due to fatigue in the or- 
gans of thought, to their want of the habit of thinking for 
any length of time, or to the fatigue of senses, which, blunt- 
ed for a moment, cease to carry sensations to the brain, and 
no longer furnish the mind with elements or subjects for its 
activity. It is to the first of these causes that results the 
sleep induced by the dreaminess which has preceded it. The 
mind, by ceasing to be attentive, has gradually brought on 
sleep. This is the reason why some persons not much ac- 
customed to meditation, or purely mental attention, go to 
sleep when they begin to meditate, or even, in some cases, to 
read. This is why a sermon or a stupid book induces sleep ; 
attention, not being sufficiently excited by the speaker, or by 
the interest of what is read, draws back, and sleep at once 
takes possession. 

In this state of non-attention the senses are not yet lulled 
to sleep — the ear hears, the limbs feel anything that comes in 
contact with them, the sense of smell perceives odors, but at 
the same time their power to transmit these sensations is not 
so active or so clear as in the waking state. As to the mind, 
it ceases to have any distinct consciousness of the / (our in- 
dividual existence). It is in some sort passive; it concen- 
trates itself on objects by which it is directly struck ; it per- 
ceives, hears, sees, but without knowing what it is that it 
sees, hears, or perceives. We discern in this a mental 
mechanism of a very peculiar kind, resembling in all points 
dreaminess or half-conscious reverie. 

But as soon as the mind comes to itself, as soon as atten- 
tion is aroused, consciousness resumes its sway. We may 
reasonably say that in the intermediate state between wak- 
ing and sleeping the mind is the sport of images evoked by the 
imagination ; that these images take entire possession of it, 
lead it where they will, lay it under a spell, draw it out of 

215 



THE UNKNOWN 

itself without permitting it at the time to reflect on what it 
is doing, although afterwards, when it comes to itself, it may 
perfectly remember what it has experienced. 

Once, under the influence of hunger induced by long fast- 
ing, which had been prescribed for him, M. Maury saw in 
the intermediate state between waking and sleeping a plate 
with food upon it, which a hand was picking up on a fork. 
When he went to sleep a few minutes later he found himself 
seated at a well-furnished table, and heard the rattle of the 
guests^ knives and forks. 

It is not only figures more or less strange, sounds, sen- 
sations of taste, smell, and touch which assail us at the mo- 
ment sleep is stealing over us, but sometimes words and 
phrases surge up suddenly in our minds when we have gone 
to sleep, without any previous connection. These things are 
real hallucinations of thought, for words sound in the ear 
of the sleeper as if a voice from without had uttered 
them. 

The phenomenon, therefore, is the same, whether it re- 
lates to a sound or an idea. The brain has been impressed 
by a sensation or by a thought ; later this impression is pro- 
duced spontaneously through its retention by the action of 
the brain, which gives birth either to a hynagogic illusion or 
a dream. These percussions of thought, this reappearance 
of images previously perceived by the mind, are often inde- 
pendent of the thing last thought of. They then result 
from interior movements of the brain, correlative to those of 
the rest of the organism, where they are produced by means 
of connection with other images which have excited the 
mind, in the same way that the same thing takes place in our 
ideas as soon as we give ourselves up to reverie and give free 
play to our imagination. 

Apparitions seen in dreams may only be hallucinations 
caused by the recollection of something that had passed out 
of our remembrance, but which remained latent in the mem- 
ory. On this we have an observation made by M. Alfred 
Maury.' 

^ Le Sommeil et lea Bives, 
216 



HALLUCINATIONS, FKOPERLY SO CALLED 

"I passed the first years of my lifo at Meaux, and I often 
went to a neighboring village called Trilport, whieh was on 
the Mai'nej and where my father was building a bridge. One 
night, in a dream, I found myself carried back to the days 
of my chidhood, and was playing in the village of Trilport. 
There I saw, dressed in a sort of uniform, a man whom I 

spoke to and asked his name. He said it was , and 

that he was the watchman of the port, and then he disap- 
peared, his place being taken by other personages* I woke 

np with a start with the name of C- in my head. Wm 

that pure imagination, or had there been at Trilport a watch- 
man named C ? I did not know, not having any re- 
membrance of such a name. Sonie time after I qnes- 
tioned an old servant who had formerly been in my father's 
service, and wdio often went with me to Trilport. I asked 

her if she remembered any one of the name of C- . She 

answered at once that there was a watchman of tliat name 
at the port on the Marne when my father was building the 
bridge. Of course I liad seen him, as she had, but all recol- 
lection of him had departed from my mind. The dream, 
by bringijig him back to me, had, as it were, revealed what 
1 had wholly forgotten." 

This is another perfect type of hallucination carefully 
told. We must mistrust latent images, remembrances that 
have been effaced, antl things that have no relation to oth- 
ers. There is more than one impression of this kind in the 
accounts that have been sent to me. It would be useless to 
publish them. 

Nevertheless it may not be without interest to mention the 
four following cases : 

^' About a year ago, while in the intermediate state which 
immediately follows waking, and in which the sleeper has 
not yet recovered full command of his senses, I saw very 
distinctly, and that in almost complete darkness (it was five 
in the morning), a human form standing motionless a little 
more than a yard away from me. 

"Although, as I have said, my mind was not yet thoroughly 
awake^ I was quite conscioas that I was not asleep* 

21T 



THE UNKNOWN 

" The phenomenon only lasted a few seconds, then the 
figure passed away, but it reappeared a moment after with 
the same features as at first. I recognized no one that I 
knew, and that perhaps is the reason why I did not try to 
trace any coincidence with a death. 

*' Some months ago, under the same circumstances, a new 
figure appeared to me, but it was equally unknown to me. 

" I ought to add that before these manifestations I had 
had occasion to ascertain that, when suddenly awakened in 
the middle of a dream, one may continue to see, for a few 
moments after awakening, the objects just seen during sleep, 

" But in the two preceding cases the vision took place 
after waking, and was not, as in this last case, the continu- 
ation of an impression received during a dream. So prob- 
ably there is a distinction to be established between the two 
kinds of phenomena. Ch. Tousche. 

*' Vice-Secretary of the Flammarion Scientific Society at Marseilles ; 
Member of the Astronomical Society of France, and of the Society 
for Advanced Psychical Studies at Marseilles." 
Letter 888. 

This was most probably a hypnagogic hallucination : 

"I was twelve years of age. One morning about seven (I 
do not remember the time of year, but it was daylight), I 
was in bed, and alone in the house ; my uncle, who inhabited 
the same apartment, had got up at least an hour earlier, 
to go to work (he was a blacksmith). A round table was 
beside the bed, and touched the alcove in which the bed was 
situated. On the table there were several objects, princi- 
pally my things. 

"At the moment when on waking I opened my eyes, I 
saw near the table, standing opposite to me, a man appar- 
ently engaged in tying his cravat. 

" I at once shut my eyes again and held my breath ; then 
a few moments after — half a minute, possibly — curiosity prov- 
ing stronger than fear, I reopened my eyes and I saw this 
same man walking round the table ; he passed between it and 
the alcove. I shut my eyes again, and when I opened them I 
saw nothing. 

218 



HALLUCINATIONS, PROPERLY SO CALLED 

" Tlie man passed between the talle and the alcove, and yet 
the table stood close up to the alcove. I heard no noise, not 
even the sound of footsteps — not the smallest noise. He seemed 
to pay no attention to me. 

"I do not remember what his face looked like. The 
apparition had no coincidence with any death that I am 
aware of. G. Lamy. 

*'39 Rue RicUelandiSre, Saint ]6tienne (Loire)." 
Letter 827. 

The same case, no doubt. 

" About two months ago, one night, having gone to bed a 
few moments before, but not being asleep, I suddenly felt as 
if something heavy were pressing on my legs. 

^^I took my head from under the bedclothes, and I saw 
very distinctly a child in swaddling clothes, who looked at 
me smiling. Frightened by the apparition, I drew out my 
arm and gave a brutal blow in its direction. The child 
slipped off the foot of the bed and disappeared. I was 
perfectly awake. The moon lighted up my room sufficiently 
for me to distinguish objects, and I distinctly saw the vision. 

'^Besides this, my room was shut tight, and no kind of 
animal could have jumped upon my bed. The next morn- 
ing I examined my chamber, and everything was in perfect 
order. I will add in this connection that I had at once 
thought of my little nephew, then three months old, and 
who, thank God, is in excellent health. P. M. 

" Manasquc." 

Letter 893. 

Here are some more hallucinatory sights. 

'^ About two weeks ago I had, during the night, being in 
bed, but perfectly awake, with my eyes wide open, the im- 
pression that I saw a human being. 

^* This impression lasted about a minute, and what I saw 
looked to me like a medallion representing the bust of a 
woman, large as life, moving like the luminous projection 
from a magic lantern, growing fainter and changing its 
form. 

219 



THE UNKNOWN 

*' During this minute I had time to recover my senses and 
to think how this experience might assist you in your re- 
searches. 

"The figure awakened no remembrance, and it seemed 
wholly unknown to mo. I cannot tell, therefore, if its appear- 
ance coincided with any death. . In any case, it was the 
death of no one belonging to me. 

"I never believed it to be an apparition, but merely an 
aberration of vision. 

"I ought to say that though it was quite dark in my cham- 
ber, I perfectly saw the features. Henriot, 

** Veterinary Surgeon. Cbavanges (Aube)." 
Letter 473. 

In this case also there was no doubt a sort of half-dream 
hallucination. 

The examples which preceded these last are cases of real 
hallucinations. Several of them leave no room for doubt. One 
is tempted to say the same of all the facts with which we are 
now dealing, and it is in general what we believe about them. 
But a great number of objections might be raised, if one is 
not content with a superficial view of them, and if one gives 
one*s self the trouble to analyze to the very bottom things that 
have been observed. 

Some other examples might be classed in the preceding 
category. For instance, M. V. de Kerkhove (p. 53), being 
in Texas, and quietly smoking his pipe, after dinner, about 
sunset, saw his grandfather, whom he had left in Belgium, 
appear before him in a doorway. He was half asleep, after a 
good dinner, and was just in the right condition for a hypna- 
gogic hallucination. We should have considered what he 
saw to have been this only, had his grandfather not died at 
the same hour. Why should he have had an hallucination 
precisely at that exact moment ? We shall be told that it 
was just that coincidence which made it remarked upon. 
But no. M. De Kerkhove never had any other hallucina- 
tion, and it is the same in almost all these cases. It is very 
rare that the same person sees several apparitions. Generally 



HALLUCINATIONS, PROPERLY SO CALLED 



he sees only one, and that one has usually coincided with a 
death* The case is not by any means the same except for 
presentiment^ more or less vague, when one, having been re- 
alized by chance, makes more impression than others. 

M. De Kerkhove was not thinking about his grandfather's 
health any more than Madame Block was thinking of her 
nephew wlien she saw him in Rome, a boy aged fourteen, 
who was dying in Paris, and whom she had left quite well 
(p. 51), Neither was Madame Berget, at Schlestadt, think- 
ing of the singing of her friend, the nun> at the moment she 
was dying in Strasbourg (p, 57); nor the young girl who, 
at a gay diniier-party, saw the apparition of her mother ; 
nor Mr. Grarling when, in the middle of the day, lie met on 
the high -road his friend Harrison, who was dying of cholera 
(p. 175). Our one hundred and eighty-one cases are entire- 
ly unconnected with these physiological explanations. These 
are not the same conditions and associations of ideas con- 
nected with them that are commonly found in hypnagogic 
dreams. 

Another objection : The precise date of a death may be 
known to an apparition, and falsely reported in an official 
document J as in the case of Mrs. Wheatcroft, who saw her 
husband killed on November 14th, when later the War Office 
falsely reported his death on the 15tli, a date that was after- 
wards rectified (p. 166)* In all these cases any explanation 
by hallucination is utterly insufficient. Although among the 
nnmei*ons cases reported, there may exist some that are con* 
nected with fortuitous circnmstances, the greater part can 
be explained without recourse to this hypothesis. It cannot 
be denied that there are real lialhicinationa, and also purely 
fortuitous coincidences, but that is no reason why there 
should not be also telepathic communications from the dying. 
All three cases are represented in this series of my docu- 
ments. 

We will soon prove, besides, that the psychic action of one 
spirit on another from a distance is a fact that cannot be de- 
nied. 

Brierre de Boismont cites the following story, which Fer- 

231 




THE UNKNOWN 

rier, Hibbert, and Abercrombie have considered from diflEerent 
points of view : 

'* ^ An officer of the English army, who was connected with 
my family/ says Perrier, * was sent to a garrison town about 
the middle of the last century in the neighborhood of the 
residence of a Scotch gentleman, who, it was said, had second 
sight. One day when the officer, who had made his acquaint- 
ance, was reading a play to the ladies of his family, the mas- 
ter of the house, who was walking about the room, stopped 
suddenly with the air of one inspired. He pulled the bell, 
and ordered the servant to saddle a horse and go at once to 
a neighboring country place and ask after the health of the 
lady of the house, and if the answer were that she was well, 
he was to go on to another country house and ask after 
another lady, whose name was given him. 

" 'The officer closed his book and begged his host to give 
him some explanation of these sudden orders. The Scotch- 
man hesitated, but at last owned that the door of the room 
had appeared to him to open, and through it there had come 
a little woman having a strong resemblance to both the 
ladies whom he had sent to inquire for. The apparition,^ he 
added, ^foretold the death of some person of his acquaintance. 

*' 'Some hours later the servant returned, and brought word 
that one of the ladies had died of apoplexy at the very 
moment when the apparition had taken place. 

*' ' On another occasion this gentleman having been obliged 
to keep his bed, it happened that the officer was reading to 
him one stormy evening. The fishing-boat of the chateau 
was then at sea. The old gentleman, after having several 
times expressed anxiety about the safety of his people, sud- 
denly exclaimed, *' The boat is lost!" " How do you know ?" 
said the colonel. *' I see,'' replied the sick man, "two boat- 
men carrying a third, who is drowned. Water is streaming 
off from their clothes. They are putting the body down near 
your chair." During the night some fishermen came up to 
the house with the body of one of their number.' " 

" Perrier," says Brierre de Boismont, "justly sets down this 
vision as an hallucination. According to Abercrombie it was 



HALLUCINATIONS, PROPERLY SO CALLED 

a reminiscence of a forgotten dream. We think it ought to 
be numbered among hallucinations which manifest themselves 
in a state of ecstasy." 

It would have been much simpler to own at once that the 
thing was inexplicable. 

We are not authorized to set down as hallucinations all 
facts that cannot be explained — ^like this one for instance, one 
of a thousand. 

Cardan says that while he was living at Pavia, looking down 
one day on his hands, he was much alarmed to see on his 
right forefinger a spot of red. During the evening he received 
a letter from his son-in-law, apprising him that his son had 
been imprisoned and was expressing an ardent desire to see 
him at Milan, as he had been condemned to death. The red 
mark continued to spread for fifty-three days, by which time 
it had reached the tip of the finger and was the color of 
blood. When his son had been executed the red mark grew 
smaller ; the day after his death it had almost entirely dis- 
appeared, and two days later no trace of it could be found.' 

This strange fact is also classed by Brierre de Boismont 
among hallucinations (Obs. 44). And why? An optical illu- 
sion which lasted fifty-three days ! And the coincidence — 
can we overlook that also? May not the son condemned to 
death have acted physically on his father by means of an 
influence which terminated at his death? 

Gratiolet, in his excellent work upon the brain,* also 
places — wrongly, it seems to us — the three following narra- 
tives among hallucinations : 

^' M. Chevreul, the eminent chemist, was thinking intently 
one day as he sat leaning over his fire. It was 1814, a 
few days before the occupation of Paris by the Allies. 
Anxiety reigned everywhere. Suddenly he rose, turned 

* Cardan Be vita propria. 

' Vol. II. of UAnatomie compares du sysi^me nerveux consideree 
dans ses rapports avec Vintelligence, by Leubet and Gratiolet (1839-1857). 
My attention has been called to this work by my learned friend, M. 
Edmond Perrier, professor at the Museum and Member of the Institute. 
1 am especially grateful to him for pointing it out. 



THE UNKNOWN 

round, and saw between the two French windows of his study 
a form white and pale. It looked like a cone of great height, 
with a globe on top of it. The form, though well defined, 
was motionless, and while Mr. Ghevreul gazed at it he was 
in a very pecuHar state of anguish. Morally, he felt no fear, 
and yet he shivered. For a moment he turned away his 
eyes and ceased to look at the phantom. Then, when he 
looked back at the same place, it was still there, and in the 
same attitude. This he repeated with the same result. At 
last, tired of this persistent vision, the savant decided to go 
into his bedroom. To do so he had to pass the phantom, 
which, as he did so, vanished. 

'* Three months later M. Chevreul heard, very much after 
date, that an old friend had died, who, out of friendship, had 
left him his library. This sad news had long been retarded 
by tlie great difficulty of communication during that un- 
happy period, and when he compared dates he proved a sort 
of coincidence between the time of his vision and the death 
of his friend. *If I had been superstitious,^ M. Chevreul 
said to me, ^I might have thought I had seen a real appa- 
rition.'"* 

That is precisely the question. Was it an apparition or an 
hallucination ? 

Chevreul also related to Gratiolet the following case. 

*'X y one of the anatomists who made themselves illus- 
trious at the close of the eighteenth century, was having his 
hair dressed. Suddenly he turned, and said to the barber, 
'Why did you pinch my arm V The man apologized, but said 

he had not done so. A moment after X felt the same 

thing, made the same remark, and received the same reply. 
The hair-dresser, having finished, made the most formal pro- 
testations of his innocence and went away. 

''The next day X heard of the death of one of his 

friends. At the moment when he felt himself seized by the 

arm, this unhappy friend was drowned. X was so 

much struck by this coincidence that for the rest of his 

* Anatomie eomparee du gysthne nerteux. Vol. II. 
224 



HALLUCINATIONS, PROPERLY SO CALLED 

life he was subject to childisli terrors, and at night he was 
always attended by a servant to his chamber, who stayed 
by him till he went to sleep.'* 

The halhicination here is not demonstrated, neither is it in 
the following case. 

The third fact reported by Gratiolet was also told him by 
Cbevrenl: 

"He was still a boy, and wy.B playing marbles In a room 
where, some months before, one of his annts had died. Ooe 
of his marbles slipped from him and rolled into the alcove J 
The child roshed after it, but at the moment when he stooped 
to pick it tip he felt a slight breath npon his head and a kiss 
upon his cheek; at the same time he heard a whisper— a voice 
said, 'Adien V 

Gratiolet adds : ''Jt is quite evident that in these cases the 
hallucination is developed under the influences of the prin- 
ciple of the association of ideas." 

Very good. No; it is not evident. 

Here is another very remarkable case taken from the Hal- 
luvinations of M. Brierre de Boismont, 

'^ Mademoiselle R^ , a woman of excellent judgment, pious 

withont bigotry, was living, before she was married, in her 
nncle's house. He was a celebrated physician, and a member 
of the Institnte, She was at that time separated from her 
mother, who was attacked in the country by severe illness. 
One night this young person dreamed that she saw her mother 
before her, pale and haggard, abont to breathe her last, and, 
above all, showing great grief at not having all her children 
round her death-bed. One of them, the tuire of a parish in 
Paris, had emigi*ated to Spain, while another, this young lady, 
was in Paris^ Soon she heard herself called several times by 
her Christian name* She saw in her dream persons sniTonnd- 
ing her mother, who, imagining that she wanted her little 
granddaughter, went into the next room to find her, but a 
sign from the sick woman made them understand that it was 
not the child she wanted, but her daughter in Paris, The 



^ WherCj in b French cliamber, staDds the bed. — Trans, 
S35 



THE UNKNOWN 

face expressed the grief she felt at her absence ; then sud- 
denly her features became altered, and over them spread the 
pallor of death; she fell back lifeless on her bed. 

"The next day Mademoiselle R. looked so sad that her 
uncle asked her what was the matter. She told him all the 
details of the dream which had so greatly agitated her. He 
pressed her to his heart, and owned that the news was but too 
true, that her mother had just died, but he gave her no 
further particulars. 

"Some months after, in the absence of her uncle. Made- 
moiselle R. undertook to arrange his papers, which, like 
many other learned men, he did not like to have meddled 
with. There she found a letter which had been thrown aside. 
Great was her surprise when she read in it all the particulars 
of her dream, which her uncle had passed over in silence, not 
wishing to add anything to the emotion of a heart that was 
too impressible. 

"This account," says the author, "was given us by the 
lady herself, in whom we place the greatest confidence."* 

To the honor of his judgment — scientific, independent, and 
enlightened — Brierre de Boismont himself made the following 
reflections : 

"No doubt we ought, in dealing with these cases/ to main- 
tain a prudent reserve; and the explanation given of the 
dream of the minister of whom Abercrombie speaks might, 
if necessary, be applied to this case ; but we must say frankly 
that such explanations are very far from satisfying us, and 
that this subject, with which we have been long occupied, 
touches on the very deepest mysteries of our being. If we 
were at liberty to quote all the names of well-known person- 
ages holding high positions in science, men of excellent judg- 
ment and vast knowledge, who have had such warnings and 



* This case, as well as that of the English oflacer reported by Ferrier, 
and the first two by Chevreul, ought to be recorded among the facts of 
telepathy. We will therefore call them Nos. CLXXXII., CLXXXIV., 
CLXXXV., and CLXXXVI. of our series. The third of Chevreul should 
be included among manifestations from the dead. 



HALLUCINATIONS, PROPERLY SO CALLED 

presentiments, it would give the world much matter for re- 
flection." 

Thus physiologists were all ready half a century ago to do 
what The Uis^KNOWif is about to do to-day for the theory of 
hallucinations. The reader is now enlightened as to the 
scope and framework of the physiological and pathological 
theory. Hallucination will not explain facts. Our duty now 
is to seek this explanation. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE PSYCHIC ACTIOK OF OKE MIiq^D UPON ANOTHER.— TRANS- 
MISSION OF THOUGHT. — MENTAL SUGGESTION. — COMMUNI- 
CATIONS FROM A DISTANCE BETWEEN HUMAN BEINGS 

In beginning these investigations we have been careful to 
confine ourselves to the examination of facts of one kind 
only, in order to facilitate their explanation — that is to say, 
the manifestations of the dying. We shall shortly consider 
the manifestations of the dead, real or apparent, and other 
phenomena, thus proceeding gradually and slowly, but se- 
curely. The object of these investigations is to ascertain 
whether objective scientific observation aflfords sufficient 
foundation for a belief in the existence of the soul as a real, 
independent entity, and its survival upon the destruction of 
the corporeal organism. The facts examined in the preced- 
ing chapters have already placed the first proposition on an 
excellent footing. The possibilities of chance and of fortui- 
tous coincidence being eliminated from telepathy by the cal- 
culation of probabilities, we are compelled to admit the ex- 
istence of an unknown psychic forccy emanating from the 
human being, and capable of making itself felt at great dis- 
tances.' 

The evidence in regard to this point is so abundant and so 
convincing that it would be difficult to reject this first con- 
clusion. 

^ I believe myself to be the first person to employ this expression, 
psychic force. In my essay upon Unknown Natural Forces, published in 
1865, this sentence occurs : " For some years I have termed these forces 
psychic. This expression should be retained." Now, after a quarter of 
a century, it is in habitual use. 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



The witnesses who are influenced by impressions in wliicli 
the mind of the living is united with that of the dying are 
not concerned in their production. It is the dying person 
who influences others. The greater part of the examples 
given indicate that the cause was in the indiyidual^ not in 
the clairvoyance or second- sight of the subjects impressed* 

Kor is it necessary to suppose that the soul of the person 
dying disengages itself and is transported towards the subject 
influenced. The action may be due to some form of energy 
still unknown to lis, a radiation, a vibration of the air, a wave 
affecting the brain and producing in it the illusion of an ex- 
ternal reality. It must be remembered that all objects that 
we perceive are not visible, some of them reaching our minds 
only by cerebral images. 

This hypothetical explanation Beems to me necessary, and 
also Boffieient, at least so far as concerns the greater number 
of the facts that have just been demonstrated. 

These facts, which represent a class of subjects much more 
general than has been heretofore sopposed, are in no way 
aupernatoral. The proper attitude of science in regard to 
them is— First, not to reject them blindly; and, secondly, to 
attempt some explanation of them. Now of all the explana- 
tions that can be offered, the simplest and moat convincing 
is, that the mind of the dying person has acted, from a dis- 
tance, upon that of the person, or persons, who have been 
affected. Apparitions, auditory illusions, spectres, phan- 
toms, displacement of objects, noises, are all intangible ; 
none of them, for instance, could be photographed. Setting 
aside certain cases, to which we shall have to recur, everything 
takes place in the brain of the person affected. But this 
does not render it less real. 

We sum up therefore out preceding} ohservatmis hy the con- 

elusion THAT ONE MIND CAN ACT, AT A DISTANCE, UPON AK- 

OTHEH, without the habitual medium of words, nor any other 
visible means of communication. It appears to ns alto- 
gether unreasonable to reject this conclusion if we accept the 
facts. 

This conclusion will he abundantly demonstrated. 

229 



THE UNKNOWN 

There is nothing unscientific, nothing romantic in admit- 
ing that an idea can Influence a brain from a distance. 

Set in vibration a violin-string, or the string of a piano; at 
a certain distance the string of another violin or piano will 
vibrate with it. 

Put in motion a magnetized needle ; at a certain distance, 
and without contact, another magnetized needle will oscil- 
late synchronously with the first. 

Speak through a telephone at Paris, electrical communica- 
tion will cause the other end to vibrate sonorously at Mar- 
seilles. A material connection is not necessary. It is not 
a substance that is transported; it is a wave that is set in 
motion. 

Consider a star in the immensity of the heavens, millions 
of thousands of miles away, at a distance from which the 
earth is nothing but an absolutely invisible point. By focus- 
ing a lens I expose a photographic plate to this star, the rays 
of light acting on that plate eat into and disintegrate the 
visible surface and imprint the image of the star upon the 
plate. Is not this fact much more wonderful than that a 
cerebral wave should traverse a short or a long distance to in- 
fluence another brain in harmonic union with it in which it 
originated? 

A solar commotion millions of miles away, across what is 
known as infinite space, produces an aurora borealis and 
magnetic perturbation upon the earth. 

Every human being is a dynamic focus. Thought itself is 
a dynamic act. There is no thought without correlative 
vibration of the brain. Is it extraordinary that this move- 
ment should be transmitted to a certain distance, as in the 
case of the telephone, or, better still, in that of the photophone 
(the conveyance of words by light), or in wireless telegraphy? 

In the present condition of our physical knowledge this 
hypothesis is not too bold. It is not outside the limit of our 
habitual experience. 

All our sensations — pleasurable, painful, or indifferent — take 
place, without exception, in our brains. We localize them 
elsewhere, however, never in our brains. I burn my* foot, I 

280 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



strike my elbow, I inliale agreeable perfume^ I eat a sayory 
dish, I drink an agreeable liquor; each one of these sensations 
is referred to the foot, or to the finger, the elbow, the nose, 
etc, Kevertheleas, in reality the nerves have transmitted 
them all, without exception, to the brain, and it is there that 
we perceive them. We may burn our foot to the bone with- 
out experiencing any sensation if the nerves leading from 
the foot to the brain are severed in any part of their coarse. 

This fact is demonstrated by anatomy and physiology. 
What is perhaps even more extraordinary is that the existence 
of a limb is not necessary to the perception of sensation in it. 
Persons who have uudergoDC ampntation experience sensa- 
tions exactly as thoogh they still possessed the amputated 
member. The common idea is, that the illusion persists for 
some days only, until, in fact, the wound being cicatrized the 
patient ceases to receive professional attention. But the 
real truth is that these illusions persist permanently, and 
preserve their intensity during the remainder of the patient^s 
life. Sensations of formication and of pain continue, which 
have their apparent seat in the exterior parts that exist no 
longer. These sensations are not vague, for the sufferer feels 
pain or tingUng in this or that toe, or on the sole, or on the 
back of the foot, in the skin, etc. A man who had under- 
gone amputation at the thigh still experienced at the end 
of twelve years sensations in his toes and the back of his 
foot. Another, who had lost hia arm thirteen years before, 
never ceased to feel sensations in his fingers ; his hand 
seemed to him always in a bent position. Another, who had 
his right arm shattered by a cannon-ball and then amputated, 
experienced well-marked rheumatic pains in the limb every 
time the weather changed twenty years after. During the 
attack of rheumatism the arm he had lost so long before 
seemed to him sensitive to the least current of air. 

These illusions after amputation are strongest at night. 
The subjects of them are sometimes obliged to carry their 
hands to the place where the limb belonged in order to 
convince themselves that they no longer possess it. When 
the remains of the nerves become painful, it is still more 

281 



THE UNKNOWN 

troublesome to correct the error. One man, for instance, 
after an interval of eight months, was obliged at night to 
touch the spot left vacant by the amputation of his left 
arm, and to glance at the place by day in order to undeceive 
himself. It is plain that the sensations of twitching, of 
numbness, of tingling, or of pain cannot be situated in the 
absent member ; therefore the same sensation is not situated 
there when the limb is present. Thus, in both cases in the 
normal and in the abnormal condition, the sensation is not 
situated where we imagine it to be— it is elsewhere ; the 
place where the pain appears to be is occupied in the normal 
condition by a nervous disturbance, not by sensation. The 
nerve is simply a conductor; proceeding from some point 
where it has been stimulated, it arouses the activity of the 
centres of perception, sensation is produced, and induces 
the action of the same mechanism — that is to say, the local- 
ization of the sensation in a place which is not the centre of 
perception. 

In the operation of rhinoplasty, a strip of the skin of the fore- 
head extending to the root of the nose is turned back, in order 
that a nose may be formed from it. When this is accomplished, 
the artificial nose, so long as it is not separated from the 
forehead, preserves the same sensations that are experienced 
when the skin of the forehead is excited by any stimulation 
— that is to say, the subject feels in the forehead the sensa- 
tions that are induced in the nose. 

Consequently when a sensation to which we are accustomed 
is caused by the presence of an object more or less distant from 
our bodies, and when experience has taught us to recognize the 
distance, it is at that particular distance that we localize our 
sensation. Such is certainly the case with the sensations of 
hearing and of sight. The external termination of the acous- 
tic nerve is in the inner chamber of the ear. That of the 
optic nerve is in the inner coat of the eye-ball. Neverthe- 
less, it is not in these places that we locate our sensations of 
sound or of color, but outside of ourselves, and often at a 
very great distance. The vibrating sound of a large clock 
seems to us to tremble far off and at a great height. The 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



whistle of a locomotive appears to pierce the air at fifty feet, 
perhapSj to the left of iis* The localization at a disUinee is 
even more distinct for visual senaations. In this case^ in- 
deed, it is carried so far that our sensations of color seem to 
us detached from ourselves ; we no longer consider them as 
belonging to ourselves. They seem to us to form a part of 
the object. We believe that the green color which appears to 
cover the arm-chair three feet from ns is one of the proper- 
ties of the chair ; we forget that it exists only in onr own re- 
tina, or rather in the perceptive centres which arouse the 
excitability of our retina. If we seek it there we do not find 
it. Physiologists have beautifully proved that the nervous 
stimulation which results in the sensation of color begins in 
the retina, just as the nervous stimulation which results iu 
the sensation of contact begins in the nerve terminations of 
the hand or the foot. They have shown that the vibrant 
ether shocks the termination of our optic nerve as a vibrat- 
ing tuning-fork shocks the external surface of our hand. We 
have not the slightest consciousness of this stimulation of 
our retina, even when we concentrate our entire attention 
in this direction. All our sensations of color are thus pro- 
jected outside of our bodies, and invest objects more or less 
distant— furniture, walls, houses, trees, the heavens, etc. This 
is why, when we afterwards reflect upon them, we do not refer 
them to ourselves ; they are removed, they are detached from 
ufi, so as to appear to have no connection with ourselves. 

The color we see is not in the object, nor in the luminous 
rays which emanate from it ; for in a great many instances we 
perceive it when the object is absent and when the luminous 
rays are wanting. The presence of the object and of its lu- 
minous rays contribute only indirectly to its reproduction; 
its direct, necessary, and sufficient condition is excitation 
of the retina, or, more correctly, of the visual centre of the 
brain. It is of little moment whether this excitation be pro- 
duced by a stream of luminous rays or otherwise. It does 
not signify whether it is, or is not, spontaneous. Whatever 
may be its cause, so soon as it takes place color is born, and 
at the same time that which we call the visual image. Color 



THE UNKNOWN 

and the visual image have their origin within us, not in any- 
thing external to ourselves. All optic physiology rests on 
this principle. It is a result of our own organization that 
sight, hearing, the observations that we make of a thing or of 
a person are all due to cerebral impressions, and consequently, 
in order that we may see, hear, and touch a person, it is neces- 
sary (and it is sufficient) that our brain be impressed by a 
vibratory movement that gives it an adequate sensation as 
the result obtained.* 

The brain, to which all sensations lead, possesses thousands 
of millions of afferent nerves, of efferent nerves, and of inter- 
cellular nerves, connecting different cells ; it is by means of 
all these that nervous impulses are distributed along thou- 
sands of millions of distinct and independent roads. Myriads 
of cells and of nerves are concerned in the establishment of 
all complicated communications. This has been proved by 
microscopic observation, by vivisection, and by pathological 
experiments. The axis of the spinal cord is a long tract of 
gray matter, containing sixty-two distinct groups of definite 
nerve centres, distributed in thirty-one pairs; these centres 
are capable of activity by reflex action, even after the head 
has been removed. Dr. Eobin experimented on a man who 
had been beheaded; he scratched the right side of the chest 
with a lancet, and observed the arm upon that side to be raised, 
while the hand was directed towards the spot irritated, as if 
to execute a movement of defence. Dr. Kuss amputated the 
head of a rabbit, using blunt scissors in order that the con- 
sequent laceration of the soft parts might prevent hemor- 
rhage ; the headless animal was then observed to spring up 
and run round the room with a perfectly regular locomotive 
movement. Our vital mechanisms are interrelated and sub- 
ordinated one to another; they represent altogether, not a 
republic of equals, but a hierarchy of officers, and the system 
of nervous centres in the spinal cord and brain resembles a 
system of administrative powers in a state. It may be com- 
pared with a telegraphic office which puts all the depart- 

> H. Taine, De Vintelligence, vol. ii., p. 189. 
234 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



i 



nientg in comraunicatiotL witli Paris and all the prefefs with 
the miniBters; it transmits information aod receives orders, 
A wave of molecular change i& transmitted along the course 
of a nerve cord with a rapidity equal to thirty-four metres a 
second for sensory nerves, and twenty-seven metres for motor 
nerves. When this wave reaches tho cells in our brain it ex- 
cites there a still greater molecular change. In no other 
part of the organic tissues is there such rapid use and re- 
pair ; and nowhere is there soch activity, nor bo great a 
liberation of energy. We may make use of Taine's compar- 
ison of the nerve-cell to a little powder magazine, which 
takes fire and explodes whenever it receives a stimulus from 
an afferent nerve, and then transmits the stimuhm greatly in- 
creased and strengthened to the efferent nerve. Such is ner- 
vous disturbance from a mechanical point of view. From a 
physical point of view it is a combustion of nervous substance 
which liberates heat. From a chemical point of view it is a 
decomposition of nervous matter which loses its fat and its 
nenrine in the process. From a physiological point of view 
it is the activity of an organ which, like all organs, is exhaust- 
ed by its own activity and requires to be restored by the blood 
in order to continno its functions. But all these different 
points of view only succeed in showing us abstract character- 
istics and general results; we do not grasp essentials, nor do 
we understand those details which would be apparent to us if 
we were able, by means of our eyes, or by the use of micro- 
scopes of greater magnifying power, to follow the actual course 
of events from beginning to end and from one point to an- 
other of their progress. From this, which is the historic 
and grapliic point of view, the activity of the cell is certainly 
an internal movement of its molecules, which we can compare 
with accuracy to a figure in a dance ; each one of these nu- 
merous and different molecules describes a lino of definite 
length and form, with a definite rapidity, after which each 
returns to its original place, with the exception of a few ex- 
hausted dancers, who, being unable to continue, withdraw, 
and yield their places to fresh recruits by whom the figure 
can be executed anew. 



THE UNKNOWN 

This, so far as we can conjecture, is the physiological act 
of which sensation is the mental accompaniment. 

All facts relating to the production and association of 
ideas can be explained by the occurrence of vibrations of 
the brain and of the nervous system which originates in 
the brain ; this was demonstrated by David Hartley in the 
last century. We have shown such to be the case for the 
acoustic nerve. A well known experiment by Sauveur shows 
that not only does a sonorous cord vibrate along its whole 
extent, but that each of its halves, each of its thirds, of its 
quarters, its fifths, and its sixths, etc., vibrate separately. 
A similar phenomenon may possibly occur in the vibration of 
the fibres of the brain, and if this is the case, the relation of 
these fibres would be analogous to that of harmonic sounds. 
A vibration due to an idea would be accompanied by corre- 
sponding vibrations for connected ideas; and the fact of 
connection, whether by reason of the actual vicinity of the 
fibres concerned, or in consequence of the attraction caused 
by currents simultaneously set in action, would result in a 
phenomenon of the same kind as electro-dynamic induction. 
All thought and all association of ideas, whatever may be 
their mode of production, represent a cerebral movement, a 
vibration of a physical kind. All memory is determined by 
a molecular movement analogous to that which determined 
the original thought. 

The vibrations of psychic action at a distance also explain 
the occurrences of telepathy. It is not an hallucination, 
but a real psychic impression. 

If a certain note, b flat, for instance, is sounded in a room, 
whether it be by the voice or the violin, or in any other man- 
ner, the string belonging to b flat on a piano near at hand 
will vibrate and resound, while all the other eighty-four 
strings will remain mute. If the other strings were capable 
of thought, they would probably, on remarking the agitation 
of the b flat string, consider it to be an hallucination, a ner- 
vous excitement, an imagination, because they themselves 
were insensible to the transmitted movement, and therefore 
did not understand it. 



^CHIC ACTH 



Every sensation corresponds to a Tibration in the brain, to 
a movement of the cerebral molecules, just as every idea 
does. And reciprocally every cerebral vibration gives birth 
to a sensation, to an idea, both in the waking condition and 
in dreams. The admission that a vibration transmitted and 
received gives birth to a psychic sensation is perfectly natural. 

An idea> an impression, a mental commotion, while entirely 
internal^ can produce in another direction physiological effects 
more or less intense, and is even capable of causing death. 
Examples are not wanting of persons dying suddenly in con- 
sequence of emotioQ. The power which imiigiuation is capa- 
ble of exercising over life itself has long been established* 
The experiment performed in the last centary in England 
on a man coodenmed to death, who was made the subject of 
a study of this kind by medical men, is well known. The 
subject of the experiment was fastened securely to a table 
with strong straps, his eyes were bandaged, and he was tlien 
told that he was to be bled from the iieck until every drop 
of his blood had been drained. After this an insiguidcaut 
puQCtore was made in his skin with the point of a needle, 
and a siphon arranged near his head in such a manner as to 
allow a continuous stream of water to flow over his ueck and 
fall with a slight sound into a basin placed on the floor. At 
the end of six minutes the condeomed man, believing that he 
had lost at least seven or eight quarts of blood, died of terror. 

Another instance is the case of a college janitor, who had' 
incnrred the dislike of the students under his charge* Some 
of these young men took possession of him and sliot him up- 
in a distant room, where they held a mock trial and passed 
sentence npon him. They recounted all his offences, audi 
they judged that death alone could expiate them, the pen- 
alty to be inflicted by decapitation* They then proceed edi 
to bring forth an axe and a log of wood, which they placed 
in the middle of the room ; they informed the condemned 
man that he had three minntes in which to repent of his 
misdeeds and make his peace with Heaven, When the throe 
minutes had expired they bandaged his eyes, and forced him 
to kneel down before the log of wood with his neck bared, 

237 



THE UNKNOWN 

after which the executioner gave him a smart blow on the 
neck with a wet towel, telling him, with a laugh, to get up. 
To the extreme surprise of all present, the man did not 
move. They shook him ; they felt his pulse — he was dead. 

Again, an English journal, the Lancet, has more recently 
published the case of a young woman, who, wishing to put 
an end to her existence, swallowed a certain quantity of in- 
sect powder, after which she lay down on her bed, where she 
was found dead. There was an inquest and an autopsy. An 
analysis of the powder found in the stomach showed that it 
was absolutely harmless in the case of human beings. Never- 
theless, the young woman was stooe dead.* 

My scientific friend, Charles Eichat, reports (in the Revue 
des Deux Mondes, LXXVI, 1886, p. 79) a case in which his 
father was to operate for stone in the bladder on a patient in 
the H6tel Dieu ; but the patient died of fright just as the 
surgeon finished tracing with his finger a line on the skin 
which the incision was to follow. 

All these psychic and physiological facts assist us to under- 
stand telepathy. 

An investigation such as this, which treats of the explana- 
ition of phenomena so strange, cannot, of course, proceed 
without arousing numerous objections. The first of these 
objections is that dying manifestations not only are not al- 
ways present, but they are not even frequent, they are ex- 
ceptional; and, moreover, they fail to occur in circumstances 
which would seem specially calculated to induce them — as, 
for instance, when a violent death separates two persons who 
were tenderly united, or when a tragedy destroys several lives 
at once. Even when the person who dies has himself prom- 
ised, hoped, desired to give some proof of his existence after 
death to the survivors, the manifestations are often absent. 
We can, of course, reply to this objection that we are ignorant 
in what manner these manifestations are produced, that there 
:are unknown laws, difficulties, impossibilities, that two brains 
rmust be in harmony, must be synchronous to vibrate under 

> See A. Rochas, Les Forces non dSfiniea. 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



the same infiiiencej that the intimate union of two hearts 
does not prove the Bynchronons action of two brains, etc. 
Bnt as the events in question take phice some times in very 
ordinary cases the objection still remains, and is a very 
grave one* 

Yes — very grave. Several times during my life has my 
own Boul been torn by sudden separation from one whom I 
loved. In my youth an intimate friend, a classmate^ died, 
having promised me to prove his survival after death, if it 
was possible. We had so often discussed the question to- 
gether I Later, one of my dearest colleagues of the press 
proposed the same compact to me, and I accepted it with joy. 
Later still, a person who was particularly dear to me vanished 
from my Hfe at the very moment when this prohiem of a 
future life was moving us both passionately, and even while 
giving me the positive assurance that his sole and only desire 
was that his premature death should be the means of de* 
monstrating this truth. And never, never, in spite of my at- 
tempts, in spite of my desire, in spite of my vows, have I re- 
ceived any manifestation whatever from him. NoTHiNCf ; 

NOTHIXO ; NOTHING ! 

Some years ago I lost my father, I was by his side, and I 
was in no incredulous attitude of mind. But no message 
reached me, then or afterwards. 

I cherished the tenderest affection for my grandfather and 
my great-aont ; I loved them madly ; indeed, my affection 
for them is still so intense that it has been absolutely impos* 
sible to me to go to the grave where they now repose ; long 
before I reached the little country graveyard I was suffoca- 
ted and blinded by sobs, and my knees gave way under me. 
Yet they have never manifested themselves to me in any man- 
ner, neither at the moment of death, nor since their departnre 
from this earth. 

Evidently my brain is not adapted to the reception of this 
kind of wave, either from the living or from the dead. No 
infloence whatever reaches me from the dying, and no com- 
munication has come to me from the dead. 

But an investigator, like an historian, should remain im- 

239 



THE UNKNOWN 

partial, and we must not allow ourselves to be influenced by 
our own sensations. Truth, fairness, honesty, must be our 
first consideration. 

Another objection, to which we have already alluded, is 
that some of the manifestations are of an unexpected charac- 
ter. If the action of one mind upon another is possible from 
a distance, why should it manifest itself in such ways as 
opening or closing a window, raising a bed, knocking on the 
furniture, rolling a ball across the floor, causing hinges to 
creak, etc. ? It would seem as if such manifestations ought 
to be of a psychic and moral kind, such as the sound of a be- 
loved voice or the appearance of one who has been taken 
from us. 

This objection is of less weight than the preceding one. 
A great number of manifestations do consist of things seen 
or heard. In other cases it is possible to suppose that a dis- 
turbance produced in the brain of the dying is transmitted 
to certain cells and certain fibres of another brain, and then 
determines in this cerebral zone some form of illusion or im- 
pression other than the original one. An advancing wave, 
whether of light or of heat, of electricity or of magnetism, 
crosses some object on its way — for example, a sponge — and 
meets with differences of resistance according to the nature 
of the sponge, the variations of density, the mineral sub- 
stances which it holds in suspension, etc.; and each part of 
the sponge receives a different impression. The apparent 
caprices of lightning present peculiarities no less striking. 
At one time a stroke of lightning sets fire to a man and he 
blazes like a sheaf of straw ; at another it reduces a pair of 
hands to ashes, leaving the gloves intact; it fuses the links of 
an iron chain as the fire of a forge would do, and on the 
other hand it kills a huntsman without discharging the gun 
which he holds in his hand; it melts an ear-ring without 
burning the skin ; it consumes a person's clothing without 
doing him the slightest injury, or perhaps it only destroys 
his shoes or his hat; it photographs on the breast of a boy 
an egg which he has taken from the top of a tree that it has 
struck; it gilds the pieces of silver in a pocket-book byelectro- 

240 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



plating from one compartment to another withont the owner 
being aware of it. It demolishes a wall six or eight feet 
thick in a moment, or barns a chatean a hundred years old; 
yet it will strike a powder factory without causing an ex- 
plosion* The effects or non-effects of lightning present pe- 
culiarities far more inexplicable than those of telepathic 
manifestations. 

It is our duty not to shut our eyes to any objection in a 
search after truth. Those which I have just brought forward 
are not incompatible with the facts that exist; and the only 
explanation of these facts appears to me to lie in the action 
of one mind upon another at a distance from it. 

Now let ns go a little further. Do there exist, ontside of 
the order of subjects which we have just examined, any in- 
stances which tend to prove the probability or the actuality 
of psychic force ? Does the evidence of the senses afford ex- 
perimental and undeniable proofs of thotigki transmt$aio7if 

Yes. These proofs we shall now proceed to pass in review, 
in order to prove them and to demonstrate them, for with 
this kind of investigation it is necessary to make assurance 
doubly sure. 

First of all, then, as regards the phenomenon of animal 
magnetism. 

I have assisted at a large number of experiments in hyp- 
notic suggestion, in particular those by Dr. Fuel, Dr. Char- 
cot, Dr. Bar^ty, Dr. Lays, Dr. Dumontpallier, and others, 
but I will not discuss them— not because I doubt the reality 
of suggestion and auto-suggestion, but because they are so 
well known that it is superfluous to go into them. 

In this kind of investigation there are a certain number of 
doubtful or even of fraudulent experiments, the subjects of 
which have themselves exposed them to me by their reciprocal 
accusations and by their admissions. Imposition is very fre- 
quent in this kind of experiment. I will cite only one ex- 
ample. Dr. Luys was in the habit of exhibiting to a subject, 
supposed to be asleep, certain phials which he placed upon her 
neck. These phials contained different substances, such as 
pure water, brandy, absinthe, castor-oil, essence of thyme, 

241 



THE UNKNOWN 

that it was not her hat ; she would not own it. She admit- 
ted that the shape was the same ; bnt the joke was carried 
too far, and she insisted on having her property returned 
to her. 

" ' But what do you wish changed ?' 

" '.You know very well. You have eyes as well as I.' 

" ' But what is it V 

" Considerable pressing was required before she would con- 
sent to say in what respect her hat was changed, for she 
thought she was being laughed at. At last, urged by ques- 
tions, she said : 

" * You see very well that this hat is red.' 

" As she refused to accept the hat, it was necessary to put 
an end to her hallucination by telling her that it would re- 
turn to its original color. Dr. Li6bault breathed on the hat, 
and as it was then transformed into her own hat before her 
eyes, she consented to accept it. 

" Such are the results which we have together obtained, 
and to which we certify. In testimony whereof we have 
drawn up the present deposition. 

" Stanislas de Guaita, A. A. Liebault." 

Mental suggestion has for some years been made the object 
of very important investigations, at the head of which stands 
the work of Dr. Ochorowicz. We extract some characteristic 
experiences from the book : 

'* Monsieur de la Souchere, formerly a student at the ficole 
Polytechnique, and now a scientific chemist residing at Mar- 
seilles, had as servant a country girl, upon whom he was able 
to produce several remarkable phenomena with the greatest 
ease, including that of somnambulism. * When Lazarine was 
in a condition of somnambulism,' he said, * she entered into per- 
fect communion of thought with me. Her sensibilities were 
at the same time so completely suspended that I stuck needles 
in her flesh, and under her nails, without causing in her the 
least pain, and without the loss of a single drop of blood. In 
the presence of Gabriel, an engineer, and some friends, I per- 
formed the following experiments : I made her drink pure 

244 



!H1 



JTION 



water, and she told me that it had for her whatever iavor I 
chose it to have — lemonade, syrup, wine, etc. I was requested 
to give her sand to taste. She coold not guess what it was, 
I put some of the sand in my own mouth and immediately 
she began to reject it, crying out that I had given her sand. 
I was behind her at the time, and it was impossible for her to 
see me.'" 

An experiment similar to this, but still more remarkable, 
is given by the Comte de Mariconrt. The subject having 
drunk, in the waking state, one glass of cherry brandy, mani- 
fested all the symptoms of intoxication, which lasted several 
days. It is this class of phenomena which have made persons 
with magnetic power believe that they can, by magnetizing a 
glass of water, or some other inanimate object, impregnate 
the fluid with different physical and chemical qualities. Mag- 
netization is useless here, for it is not the object with which 
we are concorned, but the iJiQught^ which acts on the brain of 
the subject, 

*^ Some one," says Monsieur de la Souch^re, ^* sent me a 
book; it was Robinson Crusoe. I opened it and saw a picture 
of Bobinson in a canoe. Lazarine, when asked what I was 
doing, answered: 

*' * You have a book, but are not reading it; there is a boat 
and a man in it.' 

**I told her to describe to me the furniture of a room with 
which she was not acquainted, and she enumerated the arti- 
cles of furniture successively, just as I represented them to 
myself* I have never observed the transposition of the senses 
in my subjects* When different substances were applied to 
her epigastrium, she would recognize them only when I knew 
what they were. If I was in ignorance of their nature she 
could not guess it. She was only affected through thought 
transmission. Possibly, some of the eases which have been 
attributed to transposition of the souses are in reality the re- 
sult of thought transmission." 

Dr. Texte has several times shown that it is possible for a 
person in the somnambulistic state to foUow the thought of 
the magnetizer, 

243 



THE UNKNOWN 

'^Mademoiselle Diana/^ he said, '^ followed a conversation 
during which I expressed myself only mentally. She answered 
the questions which I addressed to her in this manner/' 

He also cites a remarkable experiment, in which mental 
suggestion manifested itself as an hallucination. 

'* One day I imagined myself to be surrounded by a wooden 
wall ; but I said nothing of this. I put Mademoiselle H., a 
young and very nervous woman, into the somnambulistic 
state, and I requested her to bring me my books. When she 
reached the place where I imagined the wall to be, she 
stopped, saying that she could not advance. 

" ' What a strange idea,' she said, * to have put an ob- 
struction there !' 

" When an attempt was made to force her to pass it by 
taking her hand, her feet remained glued to the floor, the 
upper part of her body leaned forward, and she said that her 
abdomen was being pushed against the obstacle.^' 

If a person in the somnambulistic state believes that he 
sees something outside of ordinary conditions, it is necessary, 
generally speaking, to ascertain whether his hallucination is 
not simply the result of an involuntary suggestion on our 
own part. 

*' A medical student asked one of my somnambulistic sub- 
jects what cases of illness the faculty would give him for 
diagnosis in his examination for his degree in medicine. 
She described with great clearness three cases in the Hotel 
Dieu which had specially attracted the attention of the stu- 
dent, and which he himself wished to be the subjects of his 
examination. She even added a detail which characterized 
one of the subjects. 

** * Oh, what a brilliant eye that woman has ; and how fixed 
... it frightens me . . . that eye V 

" ' Do you see the shining eye V asked the student. 

" * Wait ... I do not know . . . the eye is so hard ... it 
is not natural.* 

" * What is the eye made of Y 

** * Of something brittle and shining. Oh ! . . . she takes 
it out . . . she puts it into water . . . ,' etc. 

246 



PSYCHIC ACTION 

'^ The sick woman in question had a glass eye \ and this 
fact, of which I was absolutely ignorant., since I knew noth- 
ing of the sick person spoken of^ was known to the student 
who put the interrogations to the subject, and it had been 
exactly described by her. Whence did she receive the im- 
pression ? From the mind of the interrogator, reflected 
through the medium of mine. 

"It is only fair to add that the predictions of the subject 
were not verified- On the day of his examination the student 
was given entirely different cases for diagnosis, and he was 
not even asked a qnestion in regiird to those described by the 
subject/^ 

Dr. Charpignon is of opinion that vision at a distance is 
often confounded with thought transraissiou. Thus in the 
greater number of the experiments just cited, the somnam- 
bulist was asked to go into the house of the experimenter, or 
into some phice with which the experimenter was familiar. 
The somnambulist often describes to the experimenter^ with 
whom he is in commonication, places and objects with the 
utmost exactness. But in many cases this is not due to real 
vision. The subject perceives in the mind of the experi* 
menter the images which the latter has conceived.' 

The well-known prestidigitator, Eobert Houdin, was in- 
terested in these subjects. By means of an ingenious trick 
he succeeded in counterfeiting both double vision and 
thought transmission. He was incredulous as to the evi- 
deuces of somnambulism, for being accustomed to perform 
wonders himself he had very little belief in the sopernatural, 
and was convinced of the existence of some trick. Like 
others, he regarded all the splendid manifestations of clair- 
voyance as legerdemain of the same kind, like that with 
which ho himself amused the public. In several cities where 
somnambulism had some success, he amused himself by imi- 
tating the exhibitions of it, aud even exceeding them. 
M, De Mirville. the celebrated demonologist, who subordi- 
nates somnambulism in his theory to the importance of 



^ FhysiologU du Ma^^netisme, p. 99. 
247 



THE UNKNOWN 

infernal spirits, was very desirous to convert so redoubta- 
ble an adversary. It seemed to M. De Mirville, with much 
reason, that if he could succeed in convincing Houdin 
that clairvoyance belonged to a class of subjects entirely 
outside his own theories and practice, the opinion to that 
effect of so expert a judge would be a heavy weight on the 
other side of the question. 

M. De Mirville has described in his book, Des Bsprits, 
the scene that occurred when he took Houdin to the house 
of the celebrated somnambulist Alexis. 

Morin, who is the author of a witty but sceptical book on 
hypnotism, states that Eobert Houdin himself confirmed the 
accuracy of M. De Mirville's account. 

**I was confounded, '* said the magician, " for there was no 
trick, nor sleight of hand in it. What I witnessed was the 
exhibition of a superior and inconceivable faculty, of which 
I had not the slightest conception, and in which I would 
have refused to believe had not the demonstration occurred 
under my own eyes. I was so much moved by what I saw, 
that the sweat poured from my face.^' 

Among other experiments the conjurer cited the following: 

"My wife had accompanied me, and Alexis, taking her 
hands, spoke to her of past events, and in particular of the 
peculiarly sad death of one of our children; all the circum- 
stances being absolutely exact.*' 

In this case the somnambulist read Madame Houdin's re- 
membrances in her mind and in her half -active conscious- 
ness. 

Another experiment demonstrated vision and clairvoyance 
existing at the same time, and both transmitted by memory. 

''Dr. Choumel, a very incredulous physician, wished to 
investigate the matter for himself, and presented to the sub- 
ject a little box. The latter felt the box without opening it, 
and said: 

" * It contains a medal which was given you under very pe- 
culiar circumstances. You were then a poor student. You 
lived at Lyons, in an attic. A workman, to whom you had 
done a service, found this medal in some rubbish, and think- 

248 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



log that it might be acceptable to yoUj he climbed up six 
stories to offer it to yon.' 

*' All this was true ; and it seemed impossible to deny that 
we were dealing with matters which conld not be explained 
by chance. Tlie physician joined in our admiration*" 

It is possible to give examples of vision at a distance quite 
independent of thought transmission. We shall take these 
up later, but at present it is important to preserve certain 
essential distinctions, in order to prevent confusion. What 
concerns us now is to demonstrate the scientific reality of 
thought transmission and mental suggestion. At present 
we are occupied only with verbal suggestions — that is, with 
orders given by the voice and executed after a definite period 
of shorter or longer extent. Let us therefore continue our 
investigations without going outside of the subject under 
consideration. 

In the month of November, 1885, M. Paul Janet, of the 
Institute, read before the Psychological Society, a commu- 
nication from his nephew, M. Pierre Janet, professor of phil- 
osophy at the Lycee, at Havre, on Some Phenomena of Som- 
na7nbidis7n. Under this title, which is prudently vague, were 
concealed moat extraordinary manifestations. It related to a 
series of experiments made bj M* Gihert and M. Janet, which 
not only proved mental suggestion in general, but mental 
suggestion at a distance of several miles, and without the 
knowledge of the s abject* 

The subject, Leonie B. by name, was a respectable coun- 
trywoman from Bnttany, fifty years of age, healthy, honest, 
and very timid. She was intelligent, but had had no educa- 
tion, not being able to write and scarcely knowing the alph- 
abet. Her constitution was strong and robust. In her 
youth she had been a little hysterical, but had been cured by 
an unknown hypnotizer. Since then it was only in the som- 
nambulistic state, and when under some disturbing influence, 
that she manifested any traces of hysteria. She had a hus- 
band and children, all of whom enjoyed good health. It ap- 
peared that several physicians had already wished to experi- 
ment upon her, but she had always declined their overtures, 



THE UNKNOWN 

It was only to oblige M. Gibert that she had consented to 
spend some time at Havre. She passed into the sleeping 
state very easily. It was only necessary to hold her hand 
gently for several minutes while willing her to sleep, and no 
other means succeeded. After a longer or a shorter time — 
two to five minutes, according to the person who influenced 
her — ^her glance became vague, her eyelids were agitated by 
slight and often very rapid movements, until the colored part 
of the eye was hidden under the lid. At the same time her 
chest moved with diflBiculty, and she manifested evident 
symptoms of distress. Very often fleeting tremors passed 
over her body, she breathed a sigh, and leaned backward, 
plunged in a deep sleep. 

Dr. Ochorowicz made a journey to Havre on purpose to be 
present at these experiments. 

"On the 24th of October,^' he said, "I arrived at Havre, 
and I found M. Gibert and M. Janet so convinced of the re- 
ality of action at a distance that they willingly acceded to the 
minutest precautions which I proposed, in order to give me 
every opportunity of verifying the phenomenon. A sort of 
committee was formed, consisting of M. F. Myers and Dr. 
Myers, members for the Society for Psychical Eesearch; M. 
Marillin, from the Psychological Society, and myself. The 
details of all the experiments were arranged beforehand by 
us with unanimity. 

"The following precautions were observed in all the ex- 
periments : 

"(1) The exact hour for the action at a distance was 
drawn by lot. 

"(2) It was communicated to M. Gibert only a few 
minutes before the time fixed when the members of the 
commission met at the little cottage where the subject 
lived. 

" (3) Neither the subject nor any other person in the cot- 
tage, which was about half a mile distant from the larger 
house, had any knowledge of the hour fixed, nor even of the 
nature of the experiment which was to take place. In or- 
der to avoid involuntary suggestion, neither I nor any of 

250 



the gentlemen entered the house except to verify the wom- 
an^s sleeping condition. 

'*It was decided to attempt Cagliostro*s experiment — that 
la, to put the subject to sleep from a distance^ wid fnake her 
eoim across the imtuu 

" It was iialf-past eight o'clock in the evening. M, Gibert 
agreed. The hour for the experiment was drawn by lot^ and 
it waa thus determined that the mental action was to. begin 
at five minutes to nine, and last until nine-forty. There 
was no one in the cottage except Madame B. and the cook, 
and they had no reason to anticipate an experiment on our 
part. Ko one went into the cottage, and the two women, 
taking advantage of tbeir solitode, came into the parlor^ and 
amused themselves by b tramming on the piano, 

''At a little after nine we went to the neigliborhood of the 
cottage. All was silent, and the street was deserted. With- 
out the slightest noise we divided ourselves into two parties, 
in order to watch the house from a distance* 

^'At nine twenty-five I saw a form appear at the garden- 
gate. It was the subject, I retreated into a corner, in or- 
der to listen without being observed; but I heard notlung. 
The somnambulistj after pausing a moment at the gate, drew 
back hito tbe garden. (At this moment M, Gibert's influence 
ceased, owing to the fact that his concentration of thought 
resulted in a kind of syncope or stupor, which lasted until 
nine- thirty-five.) 

''At nine-thirty the somnambulist reappeared on the thresh- 
old of the door. This time she advanced into the street 
without hesitation, and with the horried manner of a person 
who is behind time and who is under obligation to accom- 
plish her purpose. The gentleman waiting in the road did 
not have time to communicate with Dr. Myers and myself. 
But being warned by rapid footsteps, we began to follow the 
somnambulist, who did not perceive anything around her, or 
at least did not recognize us, 

" When we arrived at tbe Eue du Bard^ she began to hesi- 
tate, stopped a moment, and seemed about to fall. All at 
once she began to walk again quickly. It was then nine- 

^ 251 



THE UNKNOWN 

thirty-five^ and at that moment M. Gibert came to himself 
and resumed his influence. The somnambulist continued to 
walk rapidly^ without showing any uneasiness as to her sur- 
roundings. 

'^In ten minutes we were all at M. Gibert's house, and 
at this moment he, believing the experiment to have failed, 
and surprised that we did not return, set out to meet us, 
and passed the sleeper, whose eyes were closed. 

** She did not recognize him. Absorbed in her hypnotic 
idea, she rushed up the stairs, followed by us. M. Gibert 
was about to enter his study, but I took him by the arm and 
led him into the opposite room. 

"The somnambulist looked everywhere in great agitation ; 
she pushed against us without perceiving us ; she entered 
the study and felt the different pieces of furniture, repeat- 
ing in an agonized tone : * Where is he ? 'Where is M. Gi- 
bert?^ 

" While she was doing this the hypnotizer remained seated, 
in a stooping position, without making the slightest move- 
ment. She entered the room where he was, and almost 
touched him in passing, but her excitement prevented her 
from recognizing him. She rushed into the other rooms 
again. Then the idea occurred to M. Gibert of attracting 
her to him mentally; and whether it was as a result of his 
will, or whether by mere coincidence, she retraced her steps 
and caught him by the hand. 

"Frantic joy then took possession of her. She sprang 
upon the sofa like a child, and clapped her hands, crying : 
' Here you are ! Here you are at last ! Ah, how delighted 
I am.' 

" In short,'' says Dr. Ochorowicz, " I have established the 
extraordinary phenomenon of action at a distance, which has 
upset all previously accepted opinions." 

We give the following experiment as well : 

"On the 10th of October, 1885," writes M. Janet, "We 
agreed, M. Gibert and I, to make the following suggestion : 
^To loch the doors of the house at noon to-morrow,^ I wrote 
the suggestion on a piece of paper which I kept by me, and 



»8^ 

Tvhicli I resolved not to show to any one. M, Gibert made 
the saggestion by touch iog Madame B/s forehead with 
his own, doriEg an hypnotic sleep, and concentrating his 
thoughts for Bome momenta on the order which he men- 
tally gave her. The next day when I arrived at the cot- 
tage at a quarter before twelve, I found the house closed and 
the door locked. On inquiry it proved that it was Madame 
B. who had just closed the house. When I asked her why she 
had done such an unusual thing, she answered me : '1 felt 
very tired, and I did not wish that you should be able to 

come in and put me to sleep/ Madame B was very 

much agitated at the time ; she kept wandering in the gar- 
den, and I saw her pluck a rose, after which she went and 
looked at the letter-box placed at the front door. These 
actions are insignificant in themselves, but it is curious that 
it taas these very mtiojis which we had, for a moment , though i 
of willing her to do the evemng before. We had eventually 
decided in favor of another suggestion — namely, that of clos- 
ing the doors, but the thought of the first, no doubt, re- 
mained in M. Gibert^s mind during his exercise of will- 
power, and the subject felt the influence of it. 

On the thirteenth of October, M* Gibert ordered Madame 
B,, still by thongbt transmission, to raise, mi nmbrelia the 
Mxt day at noon^ and walk round the ganlen. The next 
day, at noon, she became much excited, went twice ronnd the 
garden, but did not raise the umbrella. I put her to sleep 
shortly after, in order to calm her agitation, wbich became 
more and more marked* Her first words were these: '* Why 
t]id you make me go all round the garden? ... I looked so 
foolish. . . . If the weather we had yesterday had continued, 
it would have been different, . . , but to-day I should have 
been ridiculous/* 

That day was, indeed, very fine, but the evening before had 
been exceedingly rainy. 

She did not wish to raise the umbrella for fear of seeming 
absurd. 

Still another experiment : 

Dn Dnssaret reports the case of a patient whom he was 

25a 



THE UNKNOWN 

hypnotizing, and whom he ordered every day before he left 
her to sleep till the next day at a certain hour. 

" One day/^ he says, "I forgot this precaution, and I was 
about seven hundred yards distant from the house when I 
perceived the omission. Not being able to return, I said 
to myself that perhaps my order would be understood 
in spite of the distance, since orders are known to be 
carried out at a distance of one or two yards. I formu- 
lated the injunction, therefore, to sleep until eight o'clock 
next day, and I proceeded on my way. Next day I called at 
half -past seven and found the patient asleep. ^ How does 
it happen that you are still sleeping?' *In obedience to your 
order, monsieur.' ' You are mistaken ; I went away without 
giving you any order.' ' That is true ; but five minutes after 
you had left, / distinctly heard you tell me to sleep until 
eight o'clock.' This was the hour which I was in the habit 
of fixing, and it seemed to me possible that mere habit might 
have caused ah illusion, in which case I should be dealing 
with nothing more than mere coincidence. In order to clear 
up this point, and leave no shadow of doubt, I ordered the 
patient to sleep until she was told to awake. During the 
day, taking advantage of an interval of leisure, I resolved to 
complete the experiment. I ordered her to wake up, leaving 
my own house, which was rather less than five miles distant, 
at the same time. The hour, which I noted, was two o'clock. 
When I reached the patient I found her awake, her parents 
having, at my request, noted the exact hour of her awaken- 
ing. This corresponded exactly to that at which I had given 
her my injunction. This experiment was repeated several 
times, at different hours, and always with the same result." 
The following experiment seems even more convincing : 
" On the 1st of January I suspended my visits and ceased 
all relations with the family. I heard nothing more of them, 
but on the twelfth, when I was making visits in an opposite 
direction, I found myself between six and seven miles distant 
from the patient, and I wondered whether it would be pos- 
sible for me still to make her obey me, in spite of the dis- 
tance, in spite of the cessation of all communication, and in 

254 



PSYCHIC ACTION 




spite oi the intervention of a third person — for the father had 
been mesmerizing his daughter in the internal* I forbade the 
patimit to go to sleep, and then half an hour later^ reflecting 
that if it should really happen that I wag obeyed the con- 
sequences might be injurious to her^ I removed the prohibi- 
tion and thought no more of it. Nest morning at six o'clock 
I was surprised bv the appearance at my house of a messenger, 
bringing a letter fi^om the father of Mademoiselle J, This 
letter informed me that on the day before (that is, on the 
twelfth), at ten o'clock in the morning, he had not been able 
to cause his daughter to sleep until after prolonged and pain- 
ful effort The patient, when she did go to sleep, had de- 
clared that her resistance had been by my orders, and she 
had slept at last only because I permitted it. Declarations 
to this effect have been made in the presence of witnesses, 
whom tlie father caused to sign the papers which contained 
them. 

"'It seems probable that with an exact knowledge of the 
conditions of such phenomena, it would be possible to com- 
municate as fully by thought from a distance, as one does 
now by the telephone,"' 

Dr. Charles Richet reports that one day, when he was at 
lireakfast with his colleagues in the salle de garden his brother, 
Landouzy, who was present, and who was at that time, like 
himself, an inter fie at the hospital Beaujon, asserted that he 
conld put to sleep a certain patient from a distance, and that 
he could also make her come into the salle de garde^ simply 
l)y an act of will on bis part. At the end of ten minutes, no 
one having appeared, the experiment was considered a fail- 
ure. "But, in reality," writes the experimenter, "it had 
not failed, for some time afterwards I was informed that the 
patient in question was walking about tbe passages, asleep, 
and wishing to speak to me, but not able to find me ; and I 
could obtain from her no further explanation of her sleep, or 
of her wanderings, than that she desired to see me." 

All these experiments demonstrate psychic action at a dis- 
tance. 

* Ochorawicz, De la mggesUon mentak, p. 140* 
255 



THE UNKNOWN 

Facts quite as remarkable have been observed in regard to 
the action of the will, in hypnotic experiments, hundreds 
and thousands of times. 

Here, for example, is a case of somnambulism caused by 
M. E. Boirac, provost of the Academy at Grenoble. 

" In September, 1892," he writes, *^ I established myself 
with all my possessions at the little village of AmSlie-les- 
Bains, intending to spend the vacation there. 

^' There was a great deal of talk going on about stances 
given by a young countryman, who called himself Dockman. 
Curiosity impelled me to visit one of these meetings. The 
young man was about twenty years of age, dark, thin, and 
very nervous. Three years previously he had been hypno- 
tized by a naval surgeon, and had then realized that he pos- 
sessed the power of mind-reading. Every one is familiar 
with the kind of scene in which some one present succeeds 
more or less completely in transmitting his wishes to the sub- 
ject, simply by mental effort, without words, without ges- 
tures, and even without contact. 

" The young mountaineer^s perceptions seemed to me to 
fail very often, and he himself owned that he tried all kinds 
of means to divine his mesmerizer's meaning. * You, your- 
self,' I said to him, laughing, * require to be put to sleep 
once more, in order to recover your old powers ; if you really 
wish it, I am ready to serve you in this respect.' Dockman 
seemed surprised and a little annoyed at my proposition. * It 
is I,' he said, * who put people to sleep ; no one does it to me 
any longer.' 

'^ Nevertheless, some days later, probably in order to grati- 
fy the mayor of the town, who expressed a wish to witness ^ 
hypnotic s^nce, Dockman consented to let me treat him; 
One evening, therefore, about ten o'clock, before an audi- 
ence of four or five persons, I took hold of his hands and 
looked him fixedly in the eyes. At the end of some minutes 
he was asleep, if the comatose and cataleptic state into 
which he passed could be called sleep. His whole body was 
rigid, his jaws were clinched, and it was with the greatest 
difficulty that I obtained short answers to my questions. He 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



awoke with extreme slowness ; and a second sleep presented 
the same characteristics. He seemed to me, in fact, an nn- 
interesting subject^ and I saw no reason to expect any results 
of importance from him. 

•^^ The next day, aboot one o'clock in the afternoon, I went 
to the Casino in order to take coffee. 

''I seated myself upon the terrs^ce, and while sipping the 
coffee, which had jost heen served me, I glanced around me. 
Dockman was seated in the garden with a friend, who was 
looking over a newspaper* Dockman had his hack towards 
me, and was occupied in rolling a cigarette, I do not know 
what suggested to me the experiment that I am about to re- 
late, but tlie idea came to me, and I proceeded to pot it into 
execution with all the force of my will* Concentrating my- 
self upon a single thought, and looking fixedly in the direc- 
tion of Dockman, I ordered him to go to sleep. He did not 
appear to be conscious of my glance at the first moment, but 
Tcry soon I saw his movements cease and his eyes become 
fixed. With the unfinished cigarette in his hands, he all at 
once lowered his eyelids, and remained motionless as a 
statue. His friend looked np, beheld him in this condi- 
tion, spoke to him, and received no answer, A singer, who 
was seated at a neighboring table, became frightened and 
began to scream* I hastened to descend, and in a few sec- 
onds, by breathing quickly on his eyelids, I woke up my im- 
provised Bobject, who did not seem aware of what had hap- 
pened to him. 

"I attempted this experiment by chance, not anticipating 
any result, and I was confounded myself at the result. The 
next day I met with an opportunity to repeat it. I arrived 
at the Casino between one and half-past. Dockman was 
seated on the terrace, alone at a table, where he was writing n 
letter, bent double, with his nose almost touching the paper. 
My table was five or six feet from his ; between him and my- 
self there was a party of four, playing cards. I again con- 
centrated myself in a nervous effort, which made me almost 
vibrate from head to foot, and with all my strength, while 
fixing my eyes on Dockman, I ordered him to cease writing 
R 257 



THE UNKNOWN 

and go to sleep. The resnlt was less rapid than it had been 
the day before. It seemed as though the subject struggled 
against my will. After a minute or two, however, he gave 
visible signs of disturbance : his pen remained suspended as 
though he sought in vain for words, he made a gesture with 
his hand like one who brushes away an obstacle; then he tore 
up the letter and began to write another ; but soon the pen 
remained motionless on the paper, and he went to sleep in 
that position. I approached him together with several of the 
by-standers, who had interrupted their game; his whole 
body was rigid and hard like a block of wood. An attempt 
to bend one of his arms was useless ; the stiffness disap- 
peared only under the influence of my passes. When he had 
regained the use of his senses, Dockman begged me not to 
renew these experiments ; he complained of having been very 
much exhausted by that of the. preceding evening. He also 
assured me that on both occasions he had slept without hav- 
ing the slightest suspicion that the sudden sleep was caused 
by myself or by any other person.*' 

This experiment is very important, and leaves no possibil- 
ity of doubt as to action at a distance. 

Dr. Darieux, editor of the Annates des Sciences Fsychiques, 
•has published the following experiments on mental transmis- 
sion, made by one of his friends, who does not wish to give 
his name, "on account of the important position which he 
holds,*' a circumstance much to be regretted: 

"Prom the 7th of January, 1887, to the 11th of Novem- 
ber Marie slept very often as a means of relief, through sug- 
gestion, from intolerable headache and the sensation of a 
ball in her throat. She suffered from hysterical pains, 
which were truly Protean in their character, and which it 
was constantly necessary to disperse by appropriate sugges- 
tion. Aside from this, her general health was excellent, and 
during the seventeen years which I have had this young 
woman under my observation she has never relinquished her 
occupations for a single day on account of illness. 

"I had attempted mental transmission with her during 
numerous sleep sSanceSy but in vain. Up to the 11th of 

258 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



November I had not obtained the slightest response to orders 
given in this way* Marie's mind w.as constantly on the alert, 
cansing her to dream, and she only obeyed verbal orders. 

''One evening I had left her sleeping on a sofa, and was 
writing mj notes in regard to her case, when she had spon- 
taneonsly a very painful hallucination, and bnrst into tears, 
I quieted her with difficulty^ and in order to cat short these 
dreams, I forbade her to think of anything connected with 
them, and I left her to sleep. Upon thinking of my total 
want of success as regarded mental transmission, it occurred 
to me that it might be due to the fact that the snbject^s 
brain was too crowded with ideas, and, therefore, I chose a 
suggestion which I formulated thus: 

'*' ^When you sleep and I do not speak to you, you are to 
think of absolutely nothing. Your brain is to remain void 
of ideas, in order that there shall be no obstacle to the en- 
trance of mine.' 

^' I repeated this suggestion four times between the 11th 
of November and the 6th of December, the latter date being 
the day on which I was able for the first time to demon- 
strate thought transmission. 

" Marie had been asleep for a moment in a profound som- 
namhuUstic condition. I turned my back to her, and, witli- 
out any gesture or sound whatever, I gave her the following 
mental order ; 

^* * When you awake you are to go and find a glass, put in 
it some drops of earn de Cologne, and bring it to me/ 

"On awakening Marie was visibly preoccupied. She was 
not able to keep her seat, and at last she came and stood be- 
fore me, saying : 

** * What are you thinking of? and what idea have you 
taken into your head ?^ 

*' * Why do you speak to me in that manner ?* 

^' * Because my present idea can only have come from you^ 
and I do not wish to obey it/ 

*' * Do not obey it if yon do not want to do so ; but I insist 
that you shall tell me immediately what you are thinking of.' 

^* * Well ! I am to go and find a glass, put in it some water 

259 



THE UNKNOWN 

with a few drops of eau de Cologne, and bring it to you. 
This is really ridiculous/ 

** For the first time my order had been perfectly under- 
stood. From this date — that is, the 6th of December, 1887 — 
up to the present time (1893), with the exception of a few 
unusual days, mental transmission has been clearly evident, 
both in her waking and in her sleeping state. It is disturbed 
only at certain periods, or when Marie is greatly harassed. 

** On the 10th of December, 1887, without Marie's knowl- 
edge, I hid a watch that had stopped behind some books in 
my book-case, and when she arrived I put her to sleep and 
gave her the following mental order: 

*^ *Go and look for the watch that is hidden behind some 
books in the book-case.' 

" I was seated in my arm-chair. Marie was behind me, 
and I was careful not to look towards the side of the room 
where the object was concealed. 

" She left her chair quickly, went straight to the book- 
case, but could not open it. Regular and determined move- 
ments manifested themselves every time she touched the 
door, and more particularly the glass of the book-case. 

" * It is there ! It is there I I am sure of it; but the glass 
burns me !' 

" I decided to go and open .it myself ; she seized upon my 
books, took them out, and snatched the watch, which she 
was overjoyed to have found. 

*' Similar experiments have been made with orders com- 
municated to me by one of my friends, written down before- 
hand, at a distance from the subject, and the success has 
been complete. But if the person who communicates the 
order to me is a strf^nger to Marie, she refuses to obey, saying 
it is not I who give the command. 

*^ A mutual friend one day came into my study while Marie 
was asleep, and gave me the following little note : 

" ' Tell her, mentally, to go and look for a cigarette for 
me in the antechamber, to light it, and to present it to me.' 

" She was seated behind me. Without leaving my chair, 
and with my back still turned to her, I sent the mental 



^ 



PSYCHIC ACTION 

order. My friend took a book and pretended to read, watcli* 
ing her closely all the time. 

*^ * You are teasing me I How can you wiBh me to get up?' 

" (Mental order) * Yoa can get up very easily; uncross your 
feet/ 

** After some effort she succeeded in uncrossing her feet 
(wliich she was in the habit of crossing under her chair), got 
up, and went slowly and complaininglj towards a box of 
cigars^ touched them, and then began to laugh* 

** " Ah, no ! I am mistaken. This is not the right thing/ 

''And she went straight to the side of the room without 
further hesitation, took a cigarette, and gave it to our friend. 

''{Mental order) 'There is something else to be done: 
light it at once.' 

•* Marie seized a match, but could not light it readily. I 
stopped her and sent her back to her place/' 

This experiment affords certain proof of thought transmis- 
sion. 

I had occasion to make some experiments personally, in 
thought transmission and mental suggestion, in the month 
of January, 1899, with Ninof, the " mind -reader/' at the 
residence of M, Clovis Ungues. I then proved : First, that 
in order he should guess anything it was necessary that the 
person who put the question should know the thing to be 
revealed. Secondly, that it was necessary that the mental 
order should be given energetically. He obeyed the mental 
order punctiliously and in the smallest details if the order 
was simple and exact. Thirdly, that this thought transmis- 
sion will operate from one brain to another, without any con- 
tact, without any sign, at the distance of one or two metres, 
solely by concentration of thought on the part of the person 
who gives the order, and tviikout cmy coUusion, Fourthly, 
failures were not infrequent, and seemed to arise from inabih 
ity to establish perfect connection between the brain of the 
person who gave the order and that of the subject ; to fatigue 
on the part of the latter ; or to contrary currents. 

Example : I willed that Ninof should go and take a photo- 
graph, which was lying by the side of seyeral others at the 

2^1 



THE UNKNOWN 

end of the salon^ and then carry it to a gentleman whom I 
did not know^ and whom I selected simply as being the sixth 
person seated among thirty spectators. This mental order 
was executed exactly, and without hesitation. 

M. Cloyis Hugnes willed that the subject should go and 
get a little engraving representing Michelet, which was placed 
with several other objects on the Diano^ and put it before a 
statuette of Joan of Arc, on the opposite side of the salon. 
The order was executed without the smallest hesitation. 

It was the first time that Ninof had come into the house^ 
and he had come alone, without any companion. 

He had his eyes bandaged by a cloth tied round his head^ 
in order, he said, to prevent him from any distraction. 

Four hairs, taken by M. Adolphe Brisson from different 
persons, were found by this subject where they had been 
hidden, and were brought back to the persons from whose 
heads they had been taken, and put on the same spot. 

Up to the time at which I witnessed this experiment I had 
seen little but deceptions. I had been convinced that in 
mind readings, and in object researches, even if the experi- 
ments were made in good faith, there were unconscious 
movements of the hands which guided the subject. In the 
experiment just recorded, no one touched him, and even 
supposing that he had been ^ble to see above the bandage, it 
made no difference, for the spectators were all behind him. 

Among the 1130 psychic facts which I received and noted 
at the time of the inquiries already spoken of, and apart from 
the principal cases which related to dying manifestations, and 
which have been already quoted, there were several very 
interesting letters concerning the subject of this chapter, 
that is, psychic communication and tliouglit transmission 
occurring between the minds of living persons, 

I will select a few papers from this collection, which is 
indeed a most varied mine. They are most instructive. 

I. ** Will you permit one of your most assiduous, and, I 
may add, most sympathetic readers, to inquire your senti- 
ments in regard to a fact with which you are certainly familiar. 

*^ You are in a street. Suddenly you perceive at some little 



PSYCHIC ACTION 

distance a person whose carriagej whose walk, whose features 
even, are familiar to yon. And yon say, ^Oh, there is Mon- 
sieur X* 1' 

** Yon approach him, but it is not he. What then ? Yon 
walk on ; and some minutes after you see, you meet, ant! 
this time without any mistake, the person whom you be- 
lieved yourself to have seen at first. 

^' How often has this happened to me ! and no doubt to 
you also. What is its cause ? I have sought for it for a 
long time, and I have at hist come to tlie conclusion that 
this curious sensation must be due to a radiation emanating 
from the person whom one is eyentually to see* 

"The same objection may be raised to this idea that is 
raised to telepathy: 'It is an absurdity; it is contrary to 
common. sense. How can the hypothesis of a radiation be 
admitted when there has been every opportunity for sucn 
radiation to be dispersed by people who are passing, or by 
carriages driving by ? etc' 

" Nevertheless, it is not impossible, even from a physical 
point of view, to believe that each individual projects before 
and around him a radiation, and that this radiation is able to 
escape the various causes of dispersion or refraction, etc., 
which I have just spoken of. 

*'In any case, it is extremely curious that one often meets 
and finds one's self face to face with a person of whom one 
was not thinking, and whom one had apparently recognized 
a moment before. L, de Leieis, 

*'Jugtau Tribunal Civil, at Lyons." 
Letter 7. 




IL "It often happens to me that, being in the street, the 
Sgure of a passer-by, seen from a distance, makes me think of 
another who resembles him in some slight degree — in dress, 
or in walk, etc. An hour or two afterwards I pass the per- 
son who has been thus called to my mind, but it is only when 
the meeting takes place that I recall having thought I saw 
him before, Bergeb, 

" School-master at IloaoDe.'' 
Letter 39. 
263 



THE UNKNOWN 

III. " Several years ago I married in the provinces, and 
ever since then I have been in daily communication with my 
father, who lives in Paris. He writes to me every day, and 
we are both in the habit of conducting our correspondence 
towards the latter part of the afternoon. 

" It often happens that one of us puts a question and the 
other writes the answer to the question on the same day and 
at the same hour. The question frequently concerns friends 
or acquaintances who one or the other of us has not seen 
for a long time, since we do not live in the same town. 

"And it often happens that if I am suffering and do not 
mention it to my father, he will divine it and insist upon 
news of my health just at the time that it is a little affected. 

"L. K. K.'^ 

Letter 58. 

rV. "If some one looks at me as I pass along the street, 
even if it is from the fifth story, my eyes turn involuntarily 
and meet theirs. I should be very glad to learn from you 
what is the reason of this phenomenon. J. C. 

-AtPezenas." Letter 153. 

V. " My mother, a short time ago, before entering a shop 
(she was still twenty yards from it), said to me, suddenly: 
* Wait, I have just seen so-and-so ; may God preserve me 
meeting him V She had, no doubt, seen him only by intui- 
tion, but it is an extraordinary fact that upon entering the 
shop she found herself face to face with him. 

"J. B. Vincent. 
• * At Lyons." Letter 189. 

VI. *^ What is the explanation of the fact that frequently 
(in nine cases out of ten) after meeting some person in the 
street who has recalled another to me by some vague re- 
semblance, I find myself a moment after, or at any rate in the 
course of the day, in the presence of that very person who 
was recalled to my mind, although nothing brings that per- 
son to see me. J. Benieb. 

** At Verdun, Meuse." 

Letter 199. 



PSYCHIC ACTION 

VII, "One morning, aboot two months ago, I was still in 
bed, but fully awake^ and I tbought of calling to my mother 
to say good-morning, when I heard her steps approaching my 
room. I considered in what tone I would cry ' Mamma !' but 
I am sure that I did not pronounce the word, for I was not 
asleep ; I had been awake a long time, and I was perfectly 
conscious of what I did, or did notfdo. 

*' At this moment mamma entered my room ; I said to her, 
laughing: 'I was just thinking of calling you,* She an- 
swered : ^Bnt you did call me ; I heard it at the other end 
of the room, and that is why I am here.^ I am sere that I 
said nothing, and my mother is sore that she heard me. 
This has caused us much amusement, for it is very extraor- 
dinary. Y, Dubois, 

*' 8 Rue de la Monnaie, Nancy/' 

Letter 207. 

VIII, " It is a matter of common occurrence to see nnex- 
pectediy a person of whom one has Josfc thought or spoken ; 
and this must have been long ago observed, since there is a 
proverbial expression now in use : ' Speak of a wolf, and yon 
see his tail.' Alphonse Ka belle, 

*' Druggist at Ribemoat (Aisue)." 
Letter 23^ 

IX, " Yon may, perhaps, have heard mention of the belief, 
wbich is very widely distributed in certain quarters, connect- 
ed with the buzzing of the ears ; it signifies, they say, that 
some one somewhere is discossing you, I have often joked 
with persons who admitted their faith in this superstition, 
but my incredulity has been modified by an experience of 
this sort which happened to me under very painful circum- 
stances. Is it possible that there exists, in this respect, a 
transmission of the kind with which you are now occupied ? 
If yon think this possible, I will hold myself in readiness to 
inform you of what happened to me, with proofs in support 
of it, such as letters with the hours of despatch and of re- 
ception, the sending of which would easily verify the hours 
at wiich the phenomenon occurred, etc*; perhaps, even, my 

26C 



THE UNKNOWN 

affirmation might be certified to by one of the persons con- 
cerned in the transmission, whom I saw in December, and to 
whom I spoke of what had happened. A. L. E." 

Letter 282. 

X. "I am a teacher, and I have been married nine years. 
My wife and I have similar tastes, and we have received simi- 
lar educations ; we have discovered since our marriage a re- 
semblance of thoughts, which strikes us as remarkable. Very 
often one of us gives verbal expression to an opinion or an 
idea exactly at the moment when the other was about to ex- 
press it in the same terms. In passing judgment upon persons 
or things, phrases which are identical rise to the lips of each 
of us at the same time ; and the words of one are, so to speak, 
reduplicated by those which the other was about to utter. 

"Is this a phenomenon of common occurrence when com- 
plete sympathy exists between two natures, or is it peculiar to 
ourselves ? In either case, if any importance attaches to it, 
what is its cause, its nature, and why does it manifest itself ? 

**F. Dalidet, 
** School- master and Secretary to the Mairie, 
" Saint Florent, pres Nior (Deux Sevres). 

** Witnessed for the legalization of the signature of M. 
Dalidet, school-master at Saint Florent. 

" A. Favrion, Mayor. 
** Mairie de Saint Florent, March 28, 1899.*' 
Letter 299. 

XI. ^' My mother, who was the wife of a captain in the 
navy, was always warned by some unusual sign when my 
father was exposed to danger. This happened so frequently 
that she acquired the habit of making a note of it. And the 
next day she would learn that her husband, when in danger 
of shipwreck, had sent to her what he believed to be his last 
thought. Innumerable such cases occur among the wives of 
sailors. I remember very well that when mamma received 
visits, telepathy was often the subject of conversation. 

'* One of my friends, who also was the wife of a naval man, 
saw her husband's hand distinctly outlined on one of the win- 

266 



I 



PSYCHIC ACTION 

dow panes on the day of hie death, which occurred tragically 
during a shipwreck. What struck her particularly was his 
wedding-ring, which was plainly visible on hia hand. An- 
other of my frienda had a sick sister, from whom she was 
separated, and who had promised to notify her by sorne sign 
of her death, if it should occur- At the very hour at which 
the sister breathed her last, my friend felt a tender embrace, 
which she recognized to be the embrace of her beloved sister, 
who was at that moment dying, I myself was in the com- 
pany of two of my pupils, when we all three heard 'Fraalein' 
distinctly pronounced by a voice which I recognized at onee 
as that of one of my acquaintances who had behaved very 
hadly to me. I made a note of the fact, and of the hour at 
which it occurred, and I learned afterwards tliat this person 
died at the very time when the sound of her voice reached 
my ears. Maria Steieffert, 

''(Bora at Strttlflund, Poraerania). At CakiB/' 
Letter 319. 

XIL ^*I have been an enthusiastic reader of your recent 
articles, and it is witii delight that 1 testify to the power of 
human thought. I have, personally, only one fact to record. 
During my residence in Germany I distinctly heard my 
father call me by my pet name. Aod the next day I learned 
that he had written to me at the same instant that the sound 
of that dear voice struck my ear. 

"Madeleine Fontaikb, 

''Boarder at Mademoiselle BerLranch's School, Calais." 

^'P.S. — Several confidences have been made to me on the 
subject of telepathy. II they would be of any interest to 
you I shall be delighted to eoramunicate them/' 

Letter 3S0. 

XIII. **I have never been apprised of the death of any 
one by any sort of apparition, nor has it occurred to any of 
the twelve or fifteen members of my family, whom I know 
very well. 

^^But 1 once had a presentiment which, although it oc- 

267 



THE UNKNOWN 

earned under rerjdiSerent cacumstMBceB from the phe&omeiui 
wbieb yon are now stodyingy belongs perhaps to the eame elass. 

^*0n going one morning to the bosfMial Lariboisiere, where 
I waa an ezieme, I had for a moment the idea that I was 
going to meet at the door of the hospital a Mondeor P., 
whom I had onlj seen once, eight months preriooslj, at the 
boose of a friend, and who had nerer been in mj mind since. 
This gentleman, who was a doctor of medicine, had come 
there, I imagined, to see a certain surgeon at Lariboisiere. 

'' I was not mnch mistaken* At the door of the hospital 
I did meet Monsieur P., who had come in order to see, not 
the surgeon in question, but the head of the obstetrical de- 
partment. 

^'Obsenre that I could not hare seen Monsieur P. at a dis- 
tance, nor have recognized bim subconsciously, for the pre- 
sentiment came to me on the Boulevard Magenta, to the 
right of the Bae Saint Quentin, and Monsieur P., when I 
saw him, had been waiting at the gate of the hospital for 
twenty minutes. I asked him how long he had been wait- 
ing there before telling bim of my presentiment, in order 
not to influence his answer. 

*' I will add to this that I am in no way inclined to supersti- 
tion — on the contrary, I am rather sceptical; and my first 
effort as regards this occurrence was to seek a physical ex- 
planation of it before resorting to the intervention of a still 
undetermined factor. But I have not yet found that physi- 
cal explanation. G. Meslet, 

*' Medical Student, 27 Rue de rEntrepdl." 
Letter 831. 

XIV. " A young woman, one of my friends, who lived in 
Paris while I was in the provinces, was attacked by an ill- 
ness which brought her in a few hours to the brink of the 
grave. I had not been notified of her illness in any way 
whatever; nevertheless, at that very moment I had a dream, 
a perfect nightmare, during which I was present at the mar- 
riage of this friend. Relations, friends, every one present, 
all were dressed in dark garments, and wept bitterly. The 
impression became so painful that I awoke. A fortnight 



PSYCEIC ACTION 



I 



later I learned of the danger from which this person had just 
escaped. 

** It also frequently happens to me to think, withont ap- 
pareat cause, of some one in whom I perceive a coincidence 
of thonght, by receiving from that person a letter which 
nothing has made necessary. This happens so often that I 
am in the habit of expecting news of persona of whom I have 
invohmtarily thought. Nevertheless^ the fact is not without 
exceptions. A. B. 

-AtChBgoy.'' Letter 382. 

XV, "The following fact has been reported to me by one 
of ray friends, who is a professor in one of tlie faculties of 
medicine in France and wliose position affords special guar- 
antees for his ability and veracity, I cannot, without his 
sanction, give yon his name in connection with an event 
which he told me in a private conversation, and it is possible 
he may not wish to see it published, We will designate him 
then under the initial Z. 

'' Monsieur Z., while at Saint Louis, in Senegal, was stung 
on the great toe by a very dangerous insect belonging to that 
country, known among Enropeans as the chigoe. In conse- 
quence of this injury, he was seized by a violent fever, which 
brought him to the brink of the grave, and rendered him- 
entirely unconscious for, I think, as much as twenty days. 
8ome hours after he had lost consciousness, a telegram from> 
his mother, who was in France, was brought to him, asking 
what had happened to him. The hour at which this telegram 
hnd been sent, allowing for the time necessary to take it to the- 
office, coincided with that at which Monsienr Z. had fainted 
away. When he returned to France, restored to health, his 
mother told him that, without any apparent reason, she had 
suddenly experienced a kind of shock, and she immediately 
divined that her son was in great danger ; the impression was 
so powerf nl that she immediately sent a telegram in order to 
obtain news of him. 

" I should prefer to sign ray letter, in order to give^ greater 
authenticity to my story; but I am, you see, a staie official, 



THE UNKNOWN 

and if it happens that yon think it best to quote the fact 
which I hare just given^ I shall be obliged if yon will with- 
hold my name and address. B. 
"Algeria/' 

Letter 808. 

XVI. " I had once a friend whom circumstances (for he 
was an explorer) obliged to lire at a great distance from us. 
We had formed the delightful habit of very regular corre- 
spondence^ and, little by little^ our souls acquired such affinity 
that it constantly happened that when we wrote to each other^ 
at the same hour^ we said exactly the same things, or even 
answered a question put in a letter at the moment it was 
asked. For example, one day, uneasy at not receiving news, 
I seized a pen and wrote the words: •Are you ill ?' At the 
same moment (as we verified later on) he wrote to me : ^ Do 
not be anxious, the illness is over.^ I do not pretend to say 
that this was a real vision, but certainly it seems to show that 
in tragic moments of existence two souls which are united 
by profound tenderness may be able to mingle, to unite them- 
selves, from a distance. E. Asi:nelli. 

"Geneva." Letter 443. 

XVII. " One day, about noon^ my wife was overcome by an 
indefinable feeling of discomfort; unlike anything which she 
has since experienced, she became oppressed, and could not 
remain quiet. She went to a collation, to which she had been 
invited, but could not remain. She then went to walk in the 
garden, looking for some one to talk to. The uneasiness con- 
tinued^ and it was not until nine o'clock in the evening that 
she found herself suddenly relieved, and felt as if she had 
not experienced anything. 

The next day she was informed that her father had died 
the day before exactly at nine o'clock. She had not thought 
of her father at all. Busin. 

**Neuville, near Poix-du-Nord. 

** P.S. — The village where we lived was about fifteen miles 
from that of my father-in-law." 

Letter 419. 
270 



PSYCHIC ACTION 

XVIIL "It often happens that I sing to myself mentally 

a well-known air, and a few moments afterwards my liiisband 

will sing aloud the same air which 1 had in my head. This 

has been the stibject of several discussions between as, which 

ha%"e always ended by amusing hb, M, C. 

•* Grenoble/* 

Letter 467. 

XIX, *'My aunt — my adopted mother — loved me to ex- 
cess, if I may nse such an expression. She was very nervous, 
and I am so also. Oar correspondence was very frequent, 
above all in the early period of our separation, and I observe<l 
that whenever I liad reason to expect a letter from her m j 
thoughts would be carried with great intensity towards her 
on the day before the arrival of her letter^ which was not, 
however, confined to a fixed date. This observation has been 
a subject of much thought with me, 0., 

" Retired Major, &l Ri verse." 
Letter 507. 

XX, "One night, some years ago, I awoke suddenly with 
the consciousness that one of my patients^ Monsieur X., who 
lived rather less than half a mile away from me, was coming 
to look for me, I sprang from my bed ; I went to the win- 
dow . . • Some minutes later I saw him arrive. His wife 
was ill, and he begged me to come and see her, 

** Several experiences of this kind have happened to me* 

'' Dr. N." 
Letter 517, 



XXL " I give here the only case which I have observed in 
this class of ideas; its sole interest lies in its regularity, I 
have two friends who are abroad, and who write to me fre- 
quently, bnt not at any fixed date. Whenever I dream of 
one or the other, it almost invariably happens that in the 
morning the postman brings me a letter from the one of 
whom I dreamed. At first I paid no attention to this, bat 
the fact forced itself upon me, and since then I have very 
often verified it. I should also mention that the dream is 

271 



THE UNKNOWN 

not often preceded by any special thought which might in 

some way induce and explain it. Cl. Chabpoy. 

•'Toanma" 

Letter 551. 

XXn. ** VLj intimate friend all one day suffered an intense 
physical agony, which was inexplicable. On the same day I 
was myself overcome with the deepest depression without 
haying the slightest suspicion of what was happening to her. 
I was at Nantes ; she was at Geneva. 

"Ck. Champuky. 
•'Geneva." 

Letter 589. 

XXIII. '^n 1845 and 1846 I was a student in a French 
class at the college of Alais ; although I was a Protestant I 
was on the best terms with M. Barely, the aJ)he of the col- 
lege, and when religious fStes occurred I was, together with 
some of my comrades, intrusted with the decorations of the 
chapel. 

" We made use of our brief freedom to descend into the 
funeral vault, which was under the sacristy, from which it 
was possible to ascend into the chapel by a trap-door and a 
staircase which came out under the professor^s stall. This 
vault contained the remains of three or four ancient (ibhes of 
the college, whose uncovered and more or less shattered cof- 
fins were deposited on the floor ; the low ceiling was covered 
with the names of old scholars traced in candle-smoke. I 
have retained an ineffaceable remembrance of this vault. 

*' Later on, in 1849 and 1850, I had lived at Nimes. M. 
Manlius Salles, librarian there, was much interested in 
hypnotism, and we often talked of it. He wished to include 
me among his subjects, saying that being an architect I 
could, when hypnotized, describe in detail the buildings in 
towns where they would conduct me by thought transmis- 
sion. I agreed, but, although he made every effort, he could 
not succeed in sending me to sleep. 

" One day I took part in a very interesting seance to which 
he had invited me. I found there a woman of about sixty 
years of age, apparently a domestic servant. 

272 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



*^He hypnotized her,* and put me in communicatiou with 
her hj joining our hands, and left ug alone. 

^' The recollection of the vault in the chapel recurred to 
my memory, and I determined to take the subject there. I 
told her that we wonld take the train for Alais. During the 
whole of the journey the upper part of her body oscil- 
lated* 

*' On arriving, she described to me exactly everything that 
we met with on our way up to the time of our arrival at the 
college. We entered the vestibule and then went into the 
chapeh On perceiving the altar she crossed herself; we 
went to the stall on the left, and she mada efforts to move 
it, assisting me also in raising the flag-stone which formed a 
trap-door. I lighted a candle, I gave her my hand to lead 
her down the little staircase, and we found onrselves in the 
vault ; she trembled with fear> and wished to go back. 

*' I calmed her, and leading her to the coffins, I begged 
her to describe them. 

*^ ^ There is snow on that one/ she said to me. The bier 
had in fact been filled with powdered chalk. 

" ' What beautiful hair this one has.' The skull was really 
covered with thick hair. 

'^ * Raise the drapery of the one on that side/ 1 said. ' Oh/ 
she exclaimed, *how beautiful it is! It is silk and gold!' 
What she saw was one of the abhes dressed in bis ecclesiasti- 
cal robes. 

** * Look at the ceiling ; I will throw light on it for you. 
What do you see ?' * Names,' she said* * Eead them/ She 
read five or six which I remembered very well 

'*We went back to the chapel, and I told her that we 
would return on foot to Anduze. 

" On the way, she gave me a mass of details in regard to 
the country through which we passed, all of them perfectly 
correct, 

" When we arrived at Anduze, I took her into the house 
of a friend ; it was eight o^clock in the evening ; she de- 
scribed to me the house, the staircase, the salon . • , , I 
then asked her to indicate the persons present. She an- 

273 



THE UNKNOWN 

Bwered that she did not know them .... On this, I reflected 
that I did not know them myself, and that it was impossible 
for me to transmit any thought about them to her. 

"Melvil Eoux, 
"Architect at Tourac, near Anduze Gard." 
Letter 650. 

XXIV. ^^ I have recently treated and cured, by hypnotism, 
the wife of one of 'my friends, who suffered for nearly eigh- 
teen years from a very painful affection. The treatment, 
which she received daily from me, lasted about six months, 
and, as often happens in such cases, between the magnetizer 
and the subject, she came completely under my influence. I 
will not repeat to you here all the phenomena which I was 
able to produce with her, such as manifestations of gout, 
sensations of heat and of cold, etc., they are too well known, 
and too easily ascribable to the imagination. But, in addi- 
tion to the above, she perceived, involuntarily on my part, 
all my sensations, even at a distance, and this could not be 
considered a question of the imagination. For instance, it 
would happen that she would say to me : ^ Yesterday, at such 
an hour you quarrelled with some one;' or else, ^ You were 
sad ; what happened to you ? In short, I have been able to 
satisfy myself that she felt all my impressions at a very great 
distance ; at least, I have been able to verify this for a dis- 
tance of nearly two miles. 

" I have had also another subject, thjs time a man, whom I 
caused to come to my house by an effort of will. Nothing 
was necessary but that I should think of it intently. ' Why,^ 
I said to him one day, * have you come at such an extraor- 
dinary hour ?' * Ah, well, I do not know ; the fancy took 
me all at once. I had a wish to see you, and here I am.' Where 
can there be imagination in all this ? 

"Just as there is a natural somnambulism and an induced 
somnambulism, so there is both a voluntary and an involun- 
tary hypnotism; and it is this which explains natural sympa- 
thies and antipathies. ** Dr. X. 

''Valparaiso." 

Letter 675. 
374 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



These cases cannot reasonably be attributed to chance 
any more tlian tbe preceding ones, (Sonie of the meetingSj 
foreseen beforehiindt may have occurred by a chance resem- 
blance to ineetmgs which preceded them, bnt this is evident- 
ly the exception.) They prove the existence of thought com- 
munication. We shall present a few more to the attention 
of our readers. The following is taken from the work 
Phantasms of the Lwing, 

Mr. A* Skirving, master mason at the cathedral at Win- 
chesterj writes thus to the authors of that volume: 

XXV, '* I am not a scholar* I left school at the age of 
twelve^ and I hope that you will pardon my errors in gram- 
mar. I am head mason at the cathedral at Winchester, and 
I have lived for nine years in that town. Thirty years ago 
I lived in London, very near the situation at present occu- 
pied by the Great Western Railway. I worked in the Re- 
gent^a Park for Messrs. Mowlem, Burt, and Freeman. The 
distance from my house was too great for me to return for 
meals, so I took my dinner with me, and I did not leave my 
work during the day. One day I suddenly felt an intense 
desire to return home. As I had nothing to do there I tried 
to rid myself of this idea, but without success. The desire 
to go home increased from minute to minute. It was ten 
o'clock in the morning, and there was nothing which should 
take me from ray work at that hour. I became uneasy and 
uncomfortable ; I felt that I must go home even at the risk 
of being laughed at by my wife, I could give no reason for 
leaving my work and losing sixpence an hour for my foolish- 
ness. All the same I could not remain. I set out for home. 

'* When I arrived at the door of my house I knocked ; my 
wife's sister opened it. She seemed surprised, and said to 
me, * Well, Skirving, how did you know it ?* *Know whatP 
I said. 'About Mary Anne' (my wife)* I said to her, *I 
know nothing about Mary Anne.' * Then what brought you 
home at this hour ?' I answered, "' I do not know. It seemed 
to me that I was needed here. What has happened ?' 

'' She told me that a cab had run over my wife about an 
hour before, and that she was severely injured. She had 

275 



THE UNKNOWN 

asked for me incessantly ever since the accident. She held 
out her arms to me, clasped thera round my neck, and laid 
my head on her breast. Her excitement passed off immedi- 
ately, and my presence calmed her; she fell asleep and 
rested peacefully. Her sister told me that she had uttered 
most pitiful cries, calling me, although there was not the 
least probability that I should come. 

" This short account has only one merit — it is strictly true. 

*^ Alexander Skirvino. 

** P.S. — The accident took place an hour and a half before 
my arrival. This time coincided exactly with that at which 
I experienced the impulse to leave my work. It took me an 
hour to reach home, and I had struggled hard for half an 
hour before I left, in order to overcome my desire to go 
home.^^ 

All these examples show that there are currents between 
brains, between minds, between hearts ; currents which 
arise from a force still unknown. 

Professor Silvio Ventnri, director of the lunatic asylum at 
Girifalcp, wrote thus upon the 18th of September, 1892 : 

XXVI. ^an July, 1885, I lived at Nocera. I went one 
day with a companion to make a visit to my brother at Poz- 
zuoli, a three-hours' journey by railroad. 

"I left every one at home in good health. I was in the 
habit of staying two days at Pozzuoli, and sometimes a little 
longer. We arrived at two o^clock in the afternoon. After 
taking some refreshment, we planned a boating-party with 
my relatives. All at once I was stopped by a sudden 
thought, and taking an energetic resolution, I declared that 
I did not wish to go in the boat, and that, on the contrary, I 
must return at once to Nocera. They objected, saying that 
I was absurd. I was myself sensible of the eccentricity of 
my resolution, but I did not hesitate, for I felt an irresistible 
impulse to i-eturn home. 

" Seeing my determination, they allowed me to set out. My 
companion went with me against his will. I hired a little 
carriage, with a horse so thin and so slow that he went at a 

276 



PSYCHIC ACTION 

walk instead of a trot. Then, fearing to lose the train at 
seven o'clock in the evening (wliich was the last), I urged 
the driver, but the poor exhauated beast could not go faster. 
At last we got down and succeeded in getting another car- 
riage in time for the train. 

'* My house at Nocerais situated about three hundred yards 
from the railway station, but I had not patience to go home 
on foot, and got iuto a frieud's carriage, leaving my com- 
panion to come on after me. When 1 reached mj own 
house 1 was shocked to see four physicians, MM. Ven- 
tra, Ganger^ RoscioH, and the physician of the town. All 
were gathered round the bed of my dear child , who was 
attacked with croup and in danger of death* The malady 
was not in that part of the country. The croop had developed 
at seven o'clock in the moruing, almost at the hour when I 
felt the impulse to retnrn home as quickly as possible, I 
had thus the delight of contributing by my presence to his 
recovery. Before my arrival my wife had wept and called 
to me with agony. "^ 

Do not all these numerous facts show the existence of 
psychic currents between living human beings ? These 
proofs are of the highest importance for the knowledge which 
we are seeking to obtain by these investigations of the nat- 
ure and the faculties of the human soul. 

Here is another document of the same kind; in this way 
one confirms another. 

M. Lasseron, registrar at Chatellerault, writes under the 
date of the 31sfc of January, 1894:" 

XXVIL " An attorney^ who belonged to the national 
guard, found himself in the guard * room. Suddenly the 
fancy seized him to go home without notifying any one. 
As he was under arms, not even the head of the post could 
have permitted him to do so ; besides, he had no sufficient 
reason to give for his absence. It was a crochet which was 
in his head, and in spite of the prison which threatened him 



* A finales des ^eienees psycJuques, 
^IMd.lSU, p, 268, 

277 



I, p. 831. 



THE UNKNOWN 

(he wonld be under arrest for a week in consequence of this 
breach of discipline) he laid aside his gun and went home at 
a run. 

*^ On arriving he found his wife in tears, surrounded by 
doctors in attendance upon the sick-bed of her daughter, six 
years of age, who was dangerously ill of croup. . . . This 
complaint was not in the town. 

** The unexpected appearance of the father seemed to pro- 
duce a reaction so favorable that the child recovered. She 
afterwards married the brother-in-law of a judgd, who told 
me of this extraordinary occurrence ; and she died before 
reaching her twenty-fifth year. 

"It was necessary to employ the strongest influence in 
order to escape the penalty of a week in prison, and it was 
only remitted in consideration of this strange fact in teles- 
thesia. Laisseron, 

*• Registrar at Chatellerault." 

Dr. Aim6 Guinard, hospital surgeon at Paris, now living 
in Paris in the Rue de Rennes, narrates the following (Oc- 
tober, 1891) : 

XVIII. *^ The dentist whom I have been in the habit of 
employing is one of my friends, who lives at some distance 
from me in the quartier de TOp^ra. As his practice has 
considerably increased, and as I have not the leisure to wait 
a long time in his waiting-room, I made up my mind to ask 
some attention of one of my colleagues, M. Martial Lagrange, 
whose office is a few steps from my house. 

*^I give these details in order to show that I was not on 
terms of intimacy with the latter. I had, in fact, met him 
for the first time the beginning of this year. 

" One evening in the month of September I went to bed, 
as usual, about half-past eleven ; towards two o'clock in the 
morning I was seized with the most unbearable toothache, 
and I remained awake all the rest of the night. The pain 
was sufficient to keep me awake, but not enough to make it 
impossible for me to think of my current affairs. As I was 
about to finish an article on the surgical treatment of cancer 

278 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



iie stomach, I passed a part of the time in meditating on 
this subject aod in making a plan for my last chapter. My 
mental work was often interrupted by a paroxysm of pain, 
and I resolved to go as soon as it was light to find M. Martial 
Lagrange, in order to have the aching tooth extracted, 

** I call special attention to the following point: During 
that long period of sleeplessness my thoughts had been ex* 
clusively concentrated on these two subjects (and with all 
the more intensity because everything around me was in the 
stillness and darkness of night) — that is, on one part of my 
cuticle, on the surgical treatment of cancer of the stomach, 
where I treat of the extirpation of the tumor by the bistoury; 
and upon the dentist just spoken of and the extraction of 
my aching tooth. 

*' Towards ten o'clock in the mornmg 1 arrived in the den- 
tist's waiting-room, and as soon as M. Martial Lagrange 
raised the portiere of his cabinet, he cried : *How strange ! 
1 dreamed of yon all last night.' 

**1 answered him, jokingly: 'I hope, at least, that your 
dream was not very disagreeable, although I was concerned 
in it/ 

*' Mndeed,' he said, ^it was a horrible nightmare; I had 
a cancer in the atomachj and I was possessed with the idea 
that you were going to open my abdomen in order to cure it/ 

'* Now, I affirm that M* Martial Lagrange was absolutely 
ignorant that the night before I was studying this particular 
question ; I had only known him for six months, and we had 
not a friend in common. 

**I will add that he is a man of about forty -five, neuro- 
pathic, and very emotional, 

'* I give the fact in all its simplicity ; it is not a recital at 

!Cond or third hand, since it was I, myself, who was con- 
lerned in iL Is it a simple coincidence ? This seems to me 
most improbable. 

^*Is it not rather an observation corroborating authentic 
cases of telepathy ? What ia noteworthy in it was my own 
condition the evening before, and the mind of the dentist, 
which was influenced or affected by suggestion during sleep. 

279 




imm 



THE UNKNOWN 

"It is a common saying, which has probably existed for 
ages, when some one who is absent is under discassion, ' His 
ears must burn/ Is it possible that this saying is based on 
facts of telepathy analogous to my own ?" 

Observations of this kind are not of recent date only. Here 
is an experiment reported by my lamented friend. Dr. Ma- 
cario, in his most interesting book, Le So^nmeil : 

XXIX. " One evening Dr. Grosmer, after having put an 
hysterical woman to sleep by hypnotism, asked the woman^s 
husband to permit him to make an experiment and see what 
happened. Without uttering a word, he took her to the open 
sea — ^mentally, be it understood. The sick woman was quiet 
as long as the water was calm ; but soon the hypnotizer raised 
a fearful tempest in his own thoughts, and the sick woman 
began to utter piercing cries and to hold on to surrounding 
objects ; her voice, her tears, the expression of her face dis- 
played overpowering terror. Then he subdued the storm in 
his own thoughts by degrees, and reduced the violence of the 
waves. They ceased to agitate the ship, and, following the 
progress of their subsidence, calm returned to the mind of 
the somnambulist, although she still displayed a rapid respi- 
ration and a nervous trembling in all her limbs. ^ Never 
take me to sea again,* she cried, an instant after, with excite- 
ment ; ^ I am too much afraid ; and that miserable captain 
who did not wish to let us come up on the bridge !' * This 
exclamation impressed us so much the more,' said M. Gros- 
mer, 'because I had not uttered a single word which could 
indicate to her the nature of the experiment which I intended 
to make/ '* 

Dr. Macario also reports the following experiments : 

XXX. " A field was to be sold, by process of law, in a vil- 
lage in the neighborhood of Paris. Nobody put in a bid for 
it, although the value set upon it was exceedingly low, be- 
cause the field was in the possession of a certain Father 
G., who was considered by the peasants to be a danger- 
ous magician. After long hesitation a farmer named L., 
tempted by the cheapness of the land, ventured to bid, and 
became the possessor of it. 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



**Th6 next moriiiug tins maiij his spade on his shoulder, 
went siiigmg to his new property, when a Binister object met 
Ilia eyes. It was a wooden cross, to which was fastened a 
paper containing these words; *If you put your spade into 
that field a spectre will come and torment you iu the night/ 
Tlie farmer overturned the cross, and began to work in the 
ground, but he was not very brave. In spite of himself he 
thought of the spectre which had been announced to him. He 
left his work, returned home, and went to bed ; but his nerves 
were overexcited, and he could not sleep. At midnight he 
saw a tall, white figure enter his chamber, and, approaching 
him, it said, 'Give me back my field/ 

''The apparition returned on socceeding nights. The 
farmer was seized with a fever. He related the vision which 
had taken possession of him to the doctor, who had in- 
quired into the cause of hie illness, and declared his convic- 
tion that Father G. had thrown a spell upon him. The 
doctor obliged the latter to appear before the mayor of the 
village^ and questioned him. The magician admitted that 
every night at midnight be walked about his own boose 
dressed in a white sheet for the purpose of tormenting the 
owner of his field. On being threatened with arrest if he 
continued to do so, he left off. The apparitions ceased, 
and the farmer recovered his health." 

How could this sorcerer, walking about his house, have 
been seen by a peasant whose house was nearly a mile off ? 
We will not attempt to explain this phenomenon. We will 
only remark that it is not without precedent, and that it 
rests upon an unimpeachable authority — that of the cele- 
brated Dr. Recamier. 

XXXI. *''M. Recaraier was coming from Bordeaux, and 
when travelling through a village in a post-chaise, one of the 
wheels of his carriage threatened to come off. They drove 
to the hoose of the wheelwright, which was near at hand. 
But this man was ill in -bed, and they were forced to send 
for one of his acquaintances who lived in the neighboring 
village. While waiting for the wheel to be repaired, M. 
R6camier entered the house of the sick peasant, and put 

281 



THE UNKNOWN 

some qnestions to him on the canse of his illness. The 
wheelwright answered that his illness proceeded from lack 
of sleep. He coald not sleep because a tinker who lived at 
the other end of the village, and to whom he had refused to 
marry his daughter, prevented him by knocking all night 
long on his kettles. 

"The doctor sought out the tinker, and asked him, without 
any preamble : 

" * Why do you knock all night on your kettles ?' 

"*To prevent Nicholas- from sleeping, to be sure/ replied 
the tinker. 

" ' How can Nicholas hear you when he lives a mile and a 
half from here ?* 

"*0h,* answered the peasant, smiling in a malicious man- 
ner, *I take care that he hears me.* 

"M. EScamier insisted that the tinker should discontinue 
his knocking, and threatened him with prosecution if the 
sick man died. On the following night the wheelwright slept 
peacefully. Some days afterwards he resumed his occupa- 
tions. 

"In the observations accompanying the narration of this 
experience, Dr. R6camier attributed it to the power of the 
will;^ a force whose strength was not yet understood, and 
which had been spontaneously revealed to an ignorant peas- 
ant. The phenomenon, however, will not seem extraordinary 
to those who understand hypnotism.*' 

General Noizet, one of the most earnest and most accu- 
rate of the authors who have written on magnetism, reports 
the following story. » 

"About 1842 I was invited to spend an evening at the 
house of one of my old comrades, where some of the wonders 
of somnambulism were to be displayed. I accepted ; it was 
the first time that I had been present at this kind of exhi- 
bition, which was, however, of common occurrence in the 
Paris salons, and I have not taken part in one since. 

' Memaire sur le wmnambulismeet le magnetisme animal, adresse en 1820 
k rAcademie de Berlin, et public avec additioDS en 1854. 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



I 



*'I found there aboot forty persona, Bome of them adepts, 
who were more or less excited, and a great many unbelievers, 
foremost among whom was the master of the house, I had 
small expectations from the seance^ and, in truth, the exper- 
iments in vision from a distance, reading concealed letters — 
11 the miracles, in short — failed completelyj and the number 
if striking facts which remained was not sufficient to soberly 
convince an assembly of sach size, and one of such different 
sentiments. 

"Talking witli several persons in regard to this failure and 
its resnltSj I observed to the master of the house that it was 
not by representations of this kind that one could convince 
one*8 self of the reality of these phenomena; that such experi- 
ments, if tbey were conducted in a large assembly of people 
who were strangers to one another, would imply, even if they 
were snccessfnl, some collusion or deception , and that in order 
to observe the experiments correctly it would be necessary to 
see them tMe-d4iiej or in a very small company, where it was 
possible to examine them on all sides and to repeat them 
often. 

I "One of the persons present applauded my words. He 
said that he knew an excellent somnambulist, and proposed 
to OS to make some experiments with her, in the presence of 
the master of the house only, and at the residence of a com- 
mon friend* ^"e accepted, and fixed a day not far distant. 

"I arrived at my friend's house before the hypnotizer and 
his somnambulist, and I learned that among other extraordi- 
nary faculties which this somnambulist was supposed to 
possess was that of being able to tell what a person, with 
whom she wa« placed in communication, had done during the 
day. It happened by chance that I had that day made 
rather an unnsoal excursion. I had gone up to the roof of 
the Hotel des Invalides with the Due de Montpensier, in 
order to show him the plan of the fortifications. I proposed 
to make use of myself as a trial of this facnlty possessed by 
the somnambulist, and the proposition was accepted by my 
two friends. 

"The somnambulist arrived and was put to sleep, after 

283 




THE UNKNOWN 

which I put myself at once in connection with her, and in- 
quired if she could tell what I had done during the day. 

*' After some insignificant details, obtained with difficulty, 
as to the disposal of my morning, I asked her where I had 
gone after luncheon. She answered, without hesitation, to the 
Tuileries, which could, however, easily have been simply for 
the purpose of a walk. I persisted, asking her where I had 
entered the Tuileries, and she answered, still correctly, by 
the entrance at the quay, near the Pont Royal. * And what 
then ?' * You went into the chdteau.^ * By which staircase ? 
Was it the one in the middle ?' ' No, it was by that in the 
comer near the entrance.* At this point she became puzzled 
about the staircases, and they are really very confusing, for 
there are several : the grand staircase in use at the pavilion 
de Flore, and the staircase to the king^s apartments, with 
their various landing-places, and the steps leading from one 
to another. Then she took me into a large hall where there 
were officers. It was a waiting-room on the rez-de-chaussee. 
^ You were expected,' she said to me. ' And what then ?' 

* A tall young man came, who spoke with you.* 'Who was 
this young man?* * I do not know him.* * Look carefully.* 
'Ah, it is the king's son/ * Which one ?* ' I do not know.* 

* It is not at all difficult to tell ; there are only two of the king*s 
sons in Paris, the Due de Nemours and the Due de Mont- 
pensier ; is it the Due de Nemours ?* *I do not know.* I told 
her that it was the Due de Montpensier. ^ And after this ?* 

* You got into a carriage.* * Alone ?* ^ No, with the prince.* 

* How was I seated?* 'Backwards, on the left.' * Were we 
alone in the carriage ?' ' No, there was another large gen- 
tleman on the front seat.* ' Who was this gentleman?* * I 
do not know.* 'Try.* After some reflection, she said, 'It 
was the king.* 'What !' I said to her, 'I on the back seat, 
and the king sat forwards ; that does not seem likely.' ' I do 
not know, I do not know that gentleman.' ' Ah, well, it was 
the prince's aide-de-camp.* ' I do not know him.' ' Where 
did we go?' ' You followed the river.* ' And then ?' ' You 
went into a large chdteau.^ ' What was that chdteau f ' I do 
not know ; there were trees before coming to it.* ' Look at- 

284 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



tentively; you ought to recognize it/ 'No, I do not know 
it.* I abandoDed this question, and I said to her, ia order 
to continue : ' You were in a large hall V Then she gave me 
a description, from her imagination, of a hall where she saw 
stars shining on a white ground* Then she said to me: 
* There were large tables there/ ' And what was on those 
tables?' * Something which was not high, bat was not en-' 
tirely flat ?' 1 could not induce her to tell me that they were 
plans in relief, things which, no doubt, she had never seen. 
' What did w^e do then, at these tables ?* ' You showed 
something. Yon got on a chair, and yon pointed out some- 
thing with a stick.' This remarkable item was perfectly cor- 
rect. Then, after a great deal of hesitation, she said that we 
got into a carriage and drove away, I said to her then, 
*Look backwards; you ought to recognize the place we 
came from.' ' Ah/ said she, as though astonished and a lit- 
tle confused, ' it is the Hotel des luvalides.' She then added 
that the prince had left me at my own door, which was 
true. 

" Although I was familiar with the phenomena of sonmam- 
huliam, this scene struck me a great deal, and I can only at- 
tribute the species of divination displayed by the somnam- 
bulist to a faculty enabling her to read in inj mind or in 
impressious still existing in my brain. This continnea to be 
the only explanation I can give/' 

Here is a second experience reported by the same author. 

XXIIL ^* About two years ago a somnambulist advised me 
to take baths of dry sulphuric vapor for the relief of pain, 
and directed me to an establishment in the Ene de la Vidoirej 
as the only one in Paris where they were well conducted. 

"This advice seemed to me reasonable, and I followed it. 

''The master of the establishment was a great talker^ and 
he was an old man of frank manners and appearance. He 
asked me one day who had recommended his baths to me. 
As I avoided answering, he said: 'Was it not Madame D. ?' 
Thereupon I asked him if he knew that lady. He answered 
'no,' but that he was very desirous of knowing her, and 
that he intended some day to go and see her^ because she had 

285 



THE UNKNOWN 

done him a service in a very extraordinary manner. Here is 
what he told me abont the matter: 

'^ Some one to whom he had been giving the baths for some 
time, said to him one day : * Something very astonishing has 
just happened to me, which also relates to you. I sometimes 
go to consult a somnambulist in regard to my illness, and I 
returned there yesterday after a long absence. As soon as she 
recognized me she said: "You are getting very much better; 
what have you done to put yourself in such good condition ?" 
" Try to find out V I said to her. " You have taken baths, 
but they were not ordinary baths; they were dry sulphur 
baths. Where did you go to take these baths T' "Try to 
find out.** "Ah, I know; it was on the other side of the boule- 
vards. It is not in the Rue de Provence, but in the street 
beyond.** "At what number ?** " Try once more.'* " It is 
at number 46, but the bathing - house is not in the same 
establishment; it is at the end of the third court, on the rez-- 
de-chaussie" All these details were perfectly exact.* 

" I spoke of this fact to the somnambulist during her sleep, 
and she confirmed it, using, moreover, a tone of perfect indif- 
ference, and what astonished me in regard to her was that I 
knew she disliked, from habit, doubtless, to give her attention 
to anything except what concerned sick people. In the above 
case, she had read in the brain of the lady who consulted her.** 

Here is a still more curious fact reported by Dr. Ber- 
trand : 

XXXIV. "A hypnotizer who was very much imbued with 
mystical ideas had a subject who saw only angels and spirits 
of different kinds during sleep ; these visions served to con- 
firm the hypnotizer more and more in his religious belief. 
He always quoted the dreams of his subject in support of his 
system, and, consequently, another magnetizer of his acquaint- 
ance undertook to enlighten him by showing him that his 
subject had no visions except what he himself conveyed to her, 
because the form of delusion existed in his own mind. In 
order to prove this he undertook to make the same subject 
see a reunion of the angels in paradise at table, and eyigaged 
in eating a turkey. 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



''He put the subject to sleep, therefore^ and at the end of 
some time he asked her if she did not see something extraor- 
dinary. The subject answered that slie saw a great assem- 
bly of angels. * And what are they doing ?' said the hypno- 
tizer. 'Tliey are gathered around a tahle and they are eat- 
ing.* The subject was not able^ however, to tell what dish 
they had before them." 

Aside from these remarkable facta, and from many others 
of the same kind, a great number of general observations 
concur in proving that tlie ideas, and more especially the 
opinions, of hypnotizers can be perceived by their subjects. 

It has been observed, for instance, that all subjects wdio 
are put to sleep by the same person have the same ideas 
under hypnotic trances, and that those ideas are precisely 
those of their hypnotizer. Thus, when a hypnotizer, who is 
persuaded of the existence of a magnetic fluid, asks his sub- 
ject if he feels the action of the fluid, the latter answers that 
he does feel it, and states in addition that he sees the hypno- 
tizer surrounded by a luminous atmosphere, sometimes shin- 
ing, sometimes azure, etc. On the other hand, subjects wdio 
are put to sleep by persons who do not admit the existence 
of any special fluid, assert that no magnetic fluid exists. 
Those who are put to sleep by superstitious men see demons 
and angels, who come to communicate with them and make 
them revelations, or bring them secrets* Somnambulists ob- 
served by the Swedenborgian Society of Stockholm believed 
themselves entirely inspired by spirits from another world, 
who for some time had inhabited human bodies. These 
ghosts spoke of what passed in paradise or in the infernal re- 
gions» and repeated a thousand stories,which filled those who 
listened to them with a holy admiration. Catholics, who 
believe in purgatory, see souls begging for masses and 
prayers, and converse with them by hypnotism and spiritual- 
ism. Protestants never do so. 

There can be no doubt, then, as to the transmission of the 
ideas, and, above ail, of the opinions, of hypnotizers. But it 
is very singular that hypnotizers, who have perfectly recog- 
nized the influence which their will exercises over these sub- 

m 



THE UNKNOWN 

jects ever since the observation of artificial somnambulism 
began^ shonld have been so long withoat discovering the 
phenomenon of the transmission of ideas. The ignorance 
which a great many of them still display on this subject 
is one of the causes which have thrown them into exaggera- 
tion and error, for while bestowing absolute confidence on 
their subjects, they interrogate th m in regard to all the sys- 
tems which they themselves have invented, and as the an- 
swers of their subjects always agree with these systems, the 
most absurd opinions become certainty for them, and this 
results in their being further and further removed from the 
truth. 

Sympathy has been admitted by every one at all periods. 
Nevertheless, the word is void of meaning for those who do 
not believe iu the reciprocal and mysterious influence which 
two human beings can exert over each other. There are very 
few persons who have not had occasion to remark, in the 
course of their lives, on the questions of sympathy and affin- 
ity. Thought transmission, harmonious communication be- 
tween brains and between souls, does exist. The psychic 
world is as real as the physical world, only it has been less 
studied up to the present time. 

It may be that, as regards manifestations of psychic energy, 
we are in the condition of inferior animals who have not yet 
evolved an intelligence like ours. But what difficulty is 
there in admitting that this force, like all others, acts at a 
distance ? The point which would be most curious and most 
inadmissible would be that this force if existent should not 
act at a distance ; for that would be a unique paradox. 

We have already said a hundre : times that it is strange 
presumption, not to say profound ignorance, to suppose that 
there exist around us in actual movement only those forces 
we are capable of perceiving. Our senses are evidently very 
gross, if we compare the sum of what they transmit to us 
with the probable mass of that which we are incapable of re- 
ceiving. We know that there exist colors, sounds, electric 
currents, magnetic attractions, and repulsions whose exist- 
ence we wholly fail to perceive ; yet we are able to record 

288 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



k: 



their action by means of delicate apparatna. Are we not 
justified by actual Bcientific data in considering all bodies 
which Burromid ns as being in infinite and established rela- 
tions with one another, in accordance with all forms of en- 
ergy ? And should we not regard ourselves as canght in an 
inextricable net, and pressed upon by all these reciprocal ac- 
tions, calorific, electric, and attractive, to say nothing of 
other influences derived from forces which we do not nn- 
derstand — dynamic actions, of which the grossest manifesta- 
tions only are apparent to us. 

But we may say, with M* Hericourt, that the evolution of 
organisms pursues its course, and that there is no doubt that 
some beings already begin to be impressed by certain vibra- 
tions issuing from the midst of these whirlwinds of action 
and of reaction, to which we are insensible- 

Again, this author says that the surprising phenomena of 
action at a distance, observed in hypnotized persons — that is 
to say, in persons wiio have undergone a sort of experimental 
disturbance of eqiulibriom, in which certain parts of the ner- 
vous system appear to have their sensibility increased at the 
expense of other parts^ought to guide us to an understand- 
ing of the meaning and nature of the phenomenon of telep- 
athy. It is these phenomena which will no doubt act as the 
bridge between the science which is positive to-day and that 
which may be the science of to-morrow. 

After all tliat has been said, it is no longer possible to 
doubt the fact of communication between brains (certainly 
not in special conditions). Thoughts, ideas, images, impres- 
sions can be transmitted. Brains are centres of radiation* It 
is sometimes said that '* certain ideas are in the air," and the 

1 metaphor is a reality. 

I A certain number of investigators have tried to make exact 

experiments on thought transmission. Those of MM* Eichet, 
II6ricourt, Guthrie, Lodge, SchmoU, Besbeanx, W. M* Pick* 
ering, and others, can be found in their special publica- 
tions, which extend as far back as the years 1883 and 1884. 
These establish that numbers have been guessed and designs 

I reproduced sufficiently often to show the reality of the trans- 
T 289 



THE UNKNOWN 

mission. In M. Richet's articles/ for instance, 2997 experi- 
ments gave 789 successes and 732 probabilities. M. Maillier 
recorded the results of 17 series of experiments, the total 
number being 17,653 ; in these the successes were 4760, and 
these exceeded the number of probabilities by 347. In June, 
1886, Miles Wingfield obtained 27 complete successes out of 
400 experiments with figures, the probabilities being only 4. 
These experiments, although they are not conclusive, have 
their value. I know very well that thought transmission is 
played as an amusement by prestidigitators in salons and on 
the stage, and that there are simple and ingenious tricks for 
this purpose. I have more than once taken part with pleas- 
ure in the sSances of the brothers Isola, De Cazeneuve, and 
their rivals. But we are here concerned with scientific ex- 
periments in which the experimenters have no intention of 
deceiving. 

I will cite the following as an example : 

My learned colleague and friend, ]fimile Desbeaux, the au- 
thor of works which are both admired and esteemed, has 
made, among others, the curious experiments which are 
here quoted, the account of which he has himself transcribed: 

XXXV. '' On the 23d of May, 1891, 1 caused Monsieur G., 
professor in the physical sciences, to be seated in an obscure 
corner of the salon. Monsieur G. is a man to whom this kind 
of experiment was absolutely unknown. It was nine o^clock 
in the evening. Monsieur G. had his eyes bandaged and his 
face turned towards the wall. 

''I placed myself about four yards from him, before a lit- 
tle table on which stood two lamps. 

"FIRST EXPERIMENT 

"Without any noise and without Monsieur G.'s knowledge 
I took up an object and I held it in the bright light. I con- 
centrated my attention upon it. I willed that Monsieur G. 
should see that object. 

" At the end of four and a half minutes Monsieur G. an- 
nounced that he saw a metallic dish. 

" Now the object was a silver spoon, a little coffee spoon, 

290 



the handle of which was concealed in my hand. I preseeted 
only the bowl, the shape of which was a slightly elongated 
oral. 

^'SECOND EXPERIMENT 

^* Monsieur G. saw a skinmg rectangle* 
** I held up a silver snuff-box. 

"THIED EXPEEIMEKT 

" Monsieur G. saw a triangle. 

'" I had drawn a triangle in bold strokes on a card. 

''FOFBTII EXPERIMENT 

*' Monsieur G* saw a square with shiny corners and bright dots. 
Sometimes he saw two dots only, sometimes he saw several. 

" I held up an object whose presence in my house was very 
little likely to be suspected. It was a large domino in white 
card -hoard. The light shone brightly on its edges , and gave 
to the spots engraved below the brilliant reflection of black 
dots. 

*' FIFTH EXPERIMENT 

"Monsieur G. saw a transparent object with shining lines 
forming an oval at the bottom. 

*'* I held a crystal beer-glass with something engraTed on 
the bottom, which was oval. 

"These five experiments, made under excellent conditions 
as regards control and sincerity, may be regarded, I think, 
as successful." 

It is also of interest in this connection to reproduce some 
of the drawings obtained by my friend, A. BclimoU, one of 
the founders of the Astronomical Society of France. 

XXX VL He experimented with several personsj who in 
their turn experimented upon others. The problem was to 
guess and to draw some object which the autbor of the ex- 
periment had in his thoughts, and which he himself drew 
out of siglit of the subject, who was in the same room, with 
his back turned and his eyes bandaged. I give here a sim- 
ple reproduction of some of these experiments which have 

391 



THE UNKNOWN 

been most successful. The minimum length of time was 
thirteen minutes. Out of one hundred and twenty-one ex- 
periments thirty failed, twenty-two succeeded, sixty-nine 
gave results more or less successful. 

All these investigations show that the mind can perceive 
and comprehend without the aid of material vision. 

This theory of psychic currents, which are capable of 
transmitting cerebral impressions and even thought to other 
brains at a distance, explains a great number of the facts ob- 
served which have hitherto been inexplicable. For example, 
you have before you at the theatre, or at a musical soiree, 
fifty to a hundred more or less attentive women. Fix your 
eyes and your thoughts on one of them, project your will 
with insistence, and not many minutes will pass before she 
will turn and look at you. This coincidence is attributed to 
chance, and very often correctly, but not always ; the success 
of it depends on the operator and on the subject. Other ex- 
amples which may be cited are an irregular correspondence 
with a sympathetic person, when it is not uncommon for 
letters to cross each other, because of mutual thought occur- 
ing at the same time and with the same intention. You are 
at table, you talk, you put a question, you make a reflection: 
*' I am going to say thus and so," and your wife, or your hus- 
band, or your sister, or your mother, who has had the same 
idea at the same moment, answers your thought. You are 
passing along the street, and you say to yourself : '* Sup- 
pose I should meet M. So-and-So." A moment afterwards 
this very person passes you ; you had felt his approach. 
Again, you think you recognize one person in another, and 
five minutes afterwards you meet that very person. You 
speak of some one, and he appears ; hence the proverb : 
*^ Quand on parle du loup/' Numerous examples of this 
kind have just been given. Up to the present time all these 
coincidences have been attributed to chance, a stupid, vulgar, 
commonplace explanation, which did away with all reason for 
investigation. 

Some cases of mind -reading occur, which are not due to 
mental suggestion. Attentive readers will have already re- 



PSYCHIC ACTION 

marked several of these in tliis chapter. Here is a very 
curious example of this kind, observed in a child by Dr. 
Quintard, and communicated by that scientist, together with 
guaranties of its authenticity* to the Society of Medicine at 
Angers : 

XXX VII. " Ludovic X. is a child of rather less than seven 
years of age, €|uick, bright, robust^ and in excellent health. 
He is absolutely free from any nervous defect ; and his 
parents are eqnally free from suspicion, from a neuropath o- 
logicai point of view. They are people of calm temperament, 
who know nothing of the excesses of life, 

"At the age of five years, however, this child appeared to 
follow in the steps of the celebrated Inaudi. His mother 
wished at this time to teach him the multiplication-table, 
and she perceived, not without surprise, that ho recited it 
as well as she did. Soon the little boy, getting excited by 
the amusement, began to make multiplications ivith a formi- 
dable multiplier, out of his own head. Indeed, they had 
only to read him a problem, taken by chance out of a collec- 
tion, and he would give the solution at once. For example, 
this : 

" ' If tw^enty - live francs fifty centimes were put in my 
pocket, I should have three times what I have now, less five 
francs forty centimes. What is the amount that I have ?' 

" Hardly was the statement finished than the child, with- 
out even taking time to reflect, answered that it w^ould be 
exactly fifteen francs forty-five centimes* They then took 
this other problem from among the more difficult ones at the 
end of the book: 

*' 'The diameter of the earth equals 63(56 kilometres ; find 
the distance of the earth from the sun, knowing that it 
equals 24,000 terrestrial diameters. Express this distance 
in leagues/ 

^*The child gave withont hesitation, in his little, chatter- 
ing voice> the required solution, 38,196,000 leagues. 

'*Thia child's father, being otherwise occupied, gave at 



» Annates dei sctmces pnjichiques, 1894, p. 335, 



THE UNKNOWN 

first only partial attention to his son's achievements. At 
length, howerer, his interest became aroused, and as he is 
something of an observer, at least by profession, he was not 
long in remarking : First, that the child paid very little at- 
tention, and sometimes none at all, to the reading of the 
problem. Second, that his mother, whose presence was an 
indispensable condition to the success of the experiment, must 
always have under her eyes or in her thoughts the solution 
asked for. From this the father concluded that his son did 
not calculate at all, but divined, or, in other words, he prac- 
tised the art of thought reading on his mother, and the father 
resolved to certify himself in regard to this. Therefore he 
begged Madame X. to open a dictionary, and ask her son 
what page she had under her eyes, and the boy answered at 
once, ^ It is page 456.' This was correct. The experiment 
was repeated ten times, and ten times they obtained a simi- 
lar result. 

*' The child, who was a mathematician, had now become a 
sorcerer! But his remarkable faculty of double vision was 
not exercised on numbers alone. If Madame X. marked 
with her nail any word whatever in a book, the child when 
questioned would name the word underlined. If a phrase 
was written in a note-book, however long it might be, it was 
sufficient for it to have passed under the maternal eyes for the 
child to repeat the phrase word for word when asked to do so 
even by a stranger ; and he displayed no appearance of suspect- 
ing that he had accomplished a tour deforce. Nor was it even 
necessary that the phrase, the number, or the word should 
be put on paper; for the son to succeed in his mind reading, 
it was sufficient that anything should be fixed in his mother's 
thought. 

''But the little boy's greatest triumph was in his displays 
in society. Ho guessed all the cards in a game, one after 
another. He designated without hesitation whatever ob- 
ject was hidden, without his knowledge, in a drawer. If he 
was asked what were the contents of a purse, he would give 
them, even to the dates on the pieces of money contained in 
it. But where the child was particularly amusing was in his 

294 




ATTEMPTS AT BKPRODUCTION OF DRAWUfGS BY MENTAL 
TRANSMISI^ION 




F^rodvciLlflii. 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



translation of foreign languages ; he gave every appearance 
of understanding Englisli, Spanish, and Greek perfectly. 
At last a friend of the family asked him the meaning of the 
Latin phrase : ' Ltipus ciirrebat sine pedtbus sitiisJ The lit- 
tle boy translated it to the general satisfaction. The name 
of litiU prodigy was in every body*a moath." 

It will be seen that there are a great many distinctions 
to ho observed in these investigations. Mind reading in this 
last experiment was done without suggestion. The phenom- 
ena of suggestion are produced by the penetration of the 
idea of the experimenter into the brain of the subject. In 
order to obtain suggestion in the case which now occupies 
us, it would be necessary to establish in the mother a cer- 
tain psychic concentration, a certain amount of will-power ^ 
indispensable to the success of the experiment. The thought 
reading in this case was frequently accomplished against her 
will. In short, there is always another side to the shield. 
When this child was old enough to learn to read in earnest, 
his mother, who had undertaken the task of teaching him, 
observed with annoyance that her son made no progress un- 
der her tuition. He did not exercise either judgment or 
memory, because he comprehended everything. A thousand 
ingenious devices were required to achieve the desired object. 

While I was studying these experiments on thought 
transmission with the greatest care, I received the following 
letter from a reader of the AnnaleSj which proves to abso* 
Intely justify the preceding reflections : 

XXXVII L ■ ^ Will you permit an assiduous reader to bring 
to your knowledge an interesting fact in telepathy which I 
liave recently witnessed, 

^' Last month (December, 1898) I attended an aged lady, 
who was in the last stage of an acute illness. She became 
weaker from day to day, although her mental faculties were 
unimpaired, and it was the day before her death that the fol* 
lowing phenomenon occurred, 

"I had seen my patient in the morning* She talked rea- 
sonably, and her mental faculties were not in the least en- 
feebled* 

805 



THE UNKNOWN 

''Towards one o'clock that day I met a friend with whom 
I spoke of different things. Suddenly this friend said to me : 

*' 'I am looking for a house to rent for the spring. Can you 
give me any information on the subject ?' 

"'No, indeed/ I answered. 'You who are a master- 
mason ought to be better informed than I in such a matter.' 

"At this moment we were entirely alone, and no one could 
have overheard our conversation. 

'"The house which Madame P. (my patient) lives in,' 
continued my friend, 'pleases me very much. What do you 
think of her condition ? They say it is very bad. Can she 
live long ?' 

" ' It is impossible to say,' I answered, evasively. ' In any 
case, she has a lease, which reverts to her heirs in case of her 
decease.' 

" ' At all events I will wait a few days and then I will see 
the owner.' 

" Our conversation ceased here. No more was said in re- 
gard to the patient or to the house, and I know that my friend 
did not speak to any one of his plans during the course of the 
day. 

" Now, on my evening visit to Madame P. the sick-nurse 
said to me : 

'"Doctor, our patient wanders, or, at least, she did wander 
towards mid-day. She asked me if any one had come to see 
the house with the intention of renting it. ' For,' she said 
to me several times, 'I have a lease ; what could they want of 
meP 

"'And this was all?' 

'"I understood absolutely nothing about it,' added the 
nurse. 

" Neither the maid nor any one around the sick woman had 
any knowledge of my friend's plans ; therefore the sick woman 
herself could not have known them, nor have received any 
intuition in regard to them through the exterior world. 

" I was convinced, and I remain so still, that Madame P. 
became aware by telepathic communication alone of our con- 
versation in the morning. The time at which she 'wandered' 



PSYCHIC ACTION 

was the same at which I talked with my friend. It ivas the 
only 'wandering* which she displayed, and she died on the 
evening of the next day, before any one cotild have had any 
knowledge of my friend*s plans for his location. 
*' This happened on the 13th of December last, 
" I noted the fact as interesting in itself. On reading, this 
evening, your article in the last number of the Annales, I 
thonght tbat it might interest you. For this reason I have 
taken the liberty to communicate it to you at once, 

"Dr, Z. 
"P.S.'—It is to yoti personally that I send this document. 
In case you should intend to publish it, I shall be obliged if 
you will withhold mj name." 



Here is another fact that has been observed, which greatly 
resembles the preceding : 

XXXIX. ''In April, 1874, at Beaumont- la- Ferri^re 
(Ni^vre), I gave my attentiou, together with my wife, to my 
mother, Madame Fonpuray, who was seventy-two years old. 
My wife and I passed every night in my mother's cham- 
ber, and in the morning we went into our own, during the 
time necessary for us to make our toilettes, but we returned 
as soon aa possible to my mother, who was cared for in the 
meantime by her maid. 

*' The house in which we lived was very large, and the two 
rooms of which I speak were both situated on the first story, 
but at opposite ends of the house, and separated from each 
other hjfour chmuMrs and a large hall^ enclosing the open- 
ing for the staircase. 

''One morning my mother was dying and we did not wish 
to leave her, but she insisted that we should go at once into 
our own room. Both my wife and I were very much moved, 
and we spoke of my mother's impending death, and of the 
relatives whom we had already lost, among the number being 
one of my brothers, a captain of artillery, who had died two 
years previously. 

" I had no material and tangible thing once belonging to 
this brother. My mother had collected different objects 

2&7 



THE UNKNOWN 

belonging to him, his epaulettes, his cross of the Legion of 
Honor, his sabre, and so forth ; and among other things was 
a whip belonging to the period when he had been at the Ecole 
Polytechniqne, or at Metz. It had a large silver handle with 
a coat-of-arms in relief. 

'^ I had for a long time wished to possess this whip, but I 
had never dared to ask it of my mother, knowing how she clung 
to the relics of her dead son. I spoke of it to my wife, who 
dissuaded me from saying anything about it to my mother. 

" There were no witnesses to this conversation. The door 
of our room was closed, and that of my mother's room as well. 
I have mentioned the distance separating our chambers, and 
I will add that my mother was dying in her bed, in a dropsi- 
cal condition and incapable of movement. Neither she nor 
any one else could have heard us, and it was impossible that 
any one should have carried to her the remarks that were 
exchanged between my wife and myself. 

**We returned to her room, and, opening the door, we 
found my mother in her bed as we had left her, almost in the 
last agony. Before I had had time to ask her how she was, 
she said to me in a feeble voice : * Louis, you wish for your 
brother's whip ; I give it to you. It is put away in the low- 
est drawer of my bureau. Take it; it will be for you a 
double souvenir of your brother, who valued it highly, and 
of your mother who is about to die.' 

'^ She made the sign of the cross, and gave her last sigh. 

*' This is the occurrence of which I was, as you will easily 
believe, a deeply moved spectator. 

'' I send it you, affirming its absolute varacity; make what 
use pf it you see fit. My wife, who was a witness of the oc- 
currence, signs this letter with me, in order to certify to its 
correctness. Fonpuray. 

** Ch&teau de Malpeyre, near Brioude (HauteLoire). 

" I was witness of everything that my husband has related 

to you above. C. Fonpuray." 

Letter 88. 

Mr. Cromwell Varley, the eminent electrician and inventor 

298 



CHIC Ac: 



of the transatlantic cable between England and the United 
States, relates the following fact/ bearing on mental com- 
mnnication : 

XL* " While doing some work on pottery I inhaled the 
vapor of hydrofluoric acid, which resnlted in epasms of tho 
glottis, I was seriously affected > and it often happened that I 
was awakened by a spasmodic attack* I had been advised to 
keep sulphuric ether always on hand, in order to obtain 
prompt relief hj inhaling the fames. I had recourse to it 
six or eight times; but its odor was so unpleasant to me that 
I ended by makipg use of chloroform, which I placed beside 
my bed, and when it was necessary' for me to use it I leaned 
over in snch a position that as soon as it prodticed insensi- 
bility I would fall backward and let the sponge drop. One 
night, however, I fell back on my bed, still holding the sponge, 
which remained applied to my month* 

^* Mrs. Varley, who was nursing a sick child, was in the 
room above mine. At the end of some seconds I became con- 
scious again. I saw my wife above, and myself lying on my 
back with the sponge over my mouth, with an absolnte in- 
ability to make any movement whatever. By force of my will 
1 conveyed into her mind the vivid idea that I was in danger. 
She rose under the impulse of a sudden alarm, came down, 
and hastened to remove the sponge. I was saved." 

I should offer some excuse for having mutiplied these 
observations to snch an extent, were it not that we are con- 
cerned with a demonstration so novel, so much discussed, 
and so important. They all prove, beyond the possibility of 
doubt, the reality of tho psychic action of one mind upon 
another. 

Sometimes this psychic transmission goes so far as to pro- 
dnce material physical sensations. 

Here, for instance, is a very cnrions case, reported in the 
work, Telepaihie Hallucinations (p. Z%b), from which we 
have already borrowed bo much. It occurred to Mrs, Severn, 
at Brantwood, England. 

^ Eep&H on Spiritualum, 1870, Iranskted ioto Frencli Id 1899, Paris, 
Librarie Ley mains. 

29D 



THE UNKNOWN 

XLL '' I tuddenly woke np^^she writes. " I felt that I had 
receired a riolent blow on the month. I had a distinct sensa- 
tion that I had been strnck, and that I had bled from the 
npper lip* 

^* Sitting np in bed, I seized my handkerchief, I tore it np, 
and I pressed it like a tampon against the injared place. 
Some moments afterwards, on removing it, I was astonished 
not to see any trace of blood. Only then did I realize that it 
was absolutely impossible that anything conld haye strnck 
me, for I was in my bed, and I bad been sleeping profoundly. 
Then I thought simply that I bad dreamed. But I looked at 
my watch, and, seeing that it was seven o'clock, and that 
Arthur (my husband) was not in the room, I concluded that 
he had gone out for an early boating-party on the lake, as it 
was fine weather. 

*' Then I went to sleep again. We breakfasted at half- 
past nine. He came in late, and I remarked that he sat 
down a little farther off from mo than usnal, and that from 
time to timo ho put his handkerchief to his lips. 

'* ' Arthur/ I said to him, ' why do you do that V And I 
added, being a little uneasy: 'I know that you are hurt, but 
I will toll you afterwards how I know it.' 

*" WoU,' he said, 'I was in the boat very early. A puff of 
wind came unoxpeotedly, and the tiller swung round and hit 
mo on tho mouth. I received a violent blow on my up- 
per lip. It bled a great deal, and I could not stanch the 
blooding/ 

'^ * Havo you any idea what timo it was when that hap- 
ponod to you !^ 

** *It must havo boon about seven o'clock,' he answered. 

*^ I told him then what had happened to me. He was 
vt^y much surprised at it, as well as all those who were at 
bfK^fast with tts« This happened at Brantwood, about three 
y^Murs «go* Jane Severn. '* 

In ai\$xr<^r to some <)uesU<ms> Mrs* Severn wrote : 
''*U i« al>s<Jutely teerlain that I was entirely awake, since 
I put niy handk^^rchi<^ to my mouth, and I pressed it to my 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



I 



upper lip for some time in order to see whether it was bleed- 
ing. I was very much astonished to find it was not. Soon 
afterwards I went to sleep again. I believe that when I got 
up an hour later I still felt a very vivid impressionj and 
while I was dressing I looked at my lip to see if it bore any 
mark*" 
Here is Mr. Severn's' narrative as well : 

** BbawtwooD'Cokiston, November IB, 1888L 

*' One beantif nl summer morning I rose early, intending 
to go on a boating excursion on the lake. I do not know 
if my wife heard me when I left the room. 

^' When I went down to the water I found it tranqnil as a 
mirror, and I remember that I felt a kind of regret at trotib- 
liiig the charming mirage of the opposite shore, which was 
reflected in the lake. Nevertheless, I soon launched my boat, 
and as there was no wind, I contented myself with hoist- 
ing the sails in order to dry them, and with putting the boat 
in order, A slight breeze soon sprang up, which enabled 
me to go nearly a league beyond Brant wood. Then the 
wind rose. I trimmed my boat to meet the squall as well as 
possible, but from some cause or other the wind struck it 
abaft, and I thought it was going to upset with me. 

^' In order to avoid the yard I lowered my head beside the 
tiller, but the yard struck me on the mouth and cut my lip 
deeply. In spite of this I soon succeeded in getting the yard 
into its placCj and as I had a good breeze 1 got back to 
Brant wood quickly. After having made fast my boat at the 
pier, I went towards the house^ endeavoring to conceal what 
had happened to my mouth as much as possible. I took a 
fresh handkercliief. I went into the dining-room, and I at- 
tempted to talk of something else in connection with my 
morning outing. In a moment my wife said : 

'* *Have you hurt your mouth ?' 
I explained then what had happened to me, and was very 
much surprised at the extraordinary interest which her face 



* The well-known artist. 

aoi 



THE UNKNOWN 

displayed. I was still more astonished when she told me 
that she had waked up suddenly^ thinking that she had re- ^^ 
ceived a blow upon the mouth. This had happened to her 
at a few minutes after seven. It must have been just about 
that time that the accident really took place. 

"Arthur Severn. '* 

We might continue to multiply these examples indefinitely. 
But it seems to us that our readers must be completely con- 
vinced of the certainty of the transmission of thoughts^ of im- 
pressions^ and of sensations. 

The correlation of forces and their mutual transformation 
aid us to understand cases of physical impression analogous 
to the preceding. 

We shall assume, then, that the action of one mind upon 
another, whether by thought transmission or mental sug- 
gestion, has been proved, even though the fact be contested 
by a large number of scientists, even specialists. Dr. Bottey, 
for instance, affirms that "the pretended transmission of 
thought and of double vision cannot possibly exist, and that 
it is only jugglery^ exploited iy the hypnotizers.^' * It seems to 
us that the circulation of false money does not prevent good 
money from existing. 

A large number of scientists profess the same disbelief for 
psychic transmission, especially in England,'where Sir William 
Thompson (Lord Kelvin) and Tyndall have made themselves 
conspicuous by the profound contempt which they have 
evinced for this kind of investigation. 

The French astronomer, Laplace, gave evidence of a very 
superior mind when he wrote : ' 

"The singular phenomena which arise from extreme ner- 
vous sensibility in some individuals have given rise to diverse 
opinions as to the existence of a new agent, which is called 
animal magnetism. It must be remembered that the cause 
of this action is very feeble, and perhaps easily disturbed by 

* Le magnetUme animal, 1884, avant-proepos et p. 266. 
3 Essai philosophique 8ur le probabilites, 1814, p. 110. 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



I 



a great number of accidenfcal circumatances ; also that be- 
cause tliere are some cases io whicli it does not manifest itself 
it sbould not be concluded that it never exists. We are still 
so far from understanding all the agents in nature^ and their 
different modes of action, that it would display very little of 
the spirit of philosophy to deny the existence of phenomena 
only because they are inexplicable in the actual conditiouB of 
our knowledge." 

These are words to be considered by those who are tempted 
to pronounce the word inipossible in this connection ; and 
others who are chiefly afraid of ridiculoj they at least counsel 
prudence in criticism. 

It is an accepted fact in physics that ether, that impon- 
derable fluid by which all space is supposed to be filled, ex- 
tends through all solid bodies, and that even in the densest 
minerals the atoms do not touch each other, but float, so to 
speakj in ether. 

This fluid transmits, across immensity, the undulatory 
movements produced in its own bosom by the luminous vibra- 
tions of the stars; it transmits light, heat, and attraction 
from considerable distances. 

Is it in any way inadmissible that this ether, which is 
known to penetrate oar brains in vibrations, should also 
transmit currents from a distance which enter our brains and 
establish a true exchange of sympathies and ideas between 
sentient beings ; between the iuhabitants of the same world, 
or even it may be across space, between earth and heaven ? 

It is possible to conceive that, in certain cases, in cer- 
tain conditions, a vibratory movement, a radiation, a current 
of greater or less intensity, issues from a spot in the brain, 
and proceeding to strike another brain, communicates to it 
a sudden stimulus which manifests itself in a sensation of 
hearing or of vision. The nerves are set in motion, some- 
times in one fashion, sometimes in another. One person 
believes that he sees the beloved being in whose brain the 
disturbance originated; another believes that he hears him ; 
or again, the cerebral stimulus manifests itself in the illu- 
sion of a noise, or of a movement of objects. But alt these 

803 



THE UNKNOWN 

impressions in the brain of the subject pass like a dream. 
In the normal state, it must be remembered, we only per- 
ceive things by some cerebral excitement which is obscurely 
accomplished in the interior of our brains. 

Is the material brain which is localized in the skull an 
organ from which radiations emanate, a focus which affects 
the space around it as a clock does in its vibrations, or after 
the manner of a centre of light or heat, and does it emit 
physical waves analogous to those of light ? or is the mind a 
focus of another and more ethereal kind of a psychic nature 
which emits invisible radiations of great power and is able 
to transport them to great distances ? The existence of a 
radiation proceeding from sentient beings seems necessary to 
explain observed facts whether that radiation proceeds from 
the mind or from the brain. Is it accomplised by spheric 
waves? Does it project itself in rectilinear streams? Is 
electricity involved in the action ? (It certainly exists in the 
human organism. I have had proofs of it a hundred times.) 
We can as yet only propose such questions. But the actual 
FACT of the action of the soul at a distance is now demon- 
strated, and I beg my readers not to misrepresent anything 
that I have written. I have brought forward all these ex- 
planatory hypotheses simply as questions. A hundred years 
ago the theory of emission was accepted and approved by 
science ; to-day it has been abandoned for that of undulations 
of ether. But we have no proof that the latter explains 
everything, particularly as regards facts of a psychic kind. 
The existence of a thing can be admitted without a necessity 
for its explanation. For example, you receive a violent blow; 
you turn around, and you see no one ; none the less have 
you received an inexplicable blow, and you are obliged to ad- 
mit the fact. The importance, the essential value of this book 
is to prove that ^AeM/flc^5 exist; that side by side with the vis- 
ible and known world there is an order of things invisible and 
unknown, and that this unknown is worthy of investigation. 

The action of one human being upon another, from a dis- 
tance, is a scientific fact; it is as certain as the existence of 
Paris, of Napoleon, of oxygen, or of Sirius. 

304 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



Che researches undertaken in our work stop hero, and if 
they only served to establisli the above faety they would be 
of the highest importaucej and we should not regret having 
undertaken them* But they have led to other discoveries 
not less audacioua, not less surprising, and not less certain. 

The occult scientists teach that man is composed of three 
parts ; the soul, the astral body, and the physical body, and 
explain certain manifestations by saying that the astral body 
of the dying person escapes, and is transported to the person 
receiving the impression. 

This explanation does not seem to ua satisfactory, because 
of the diversity of the impl'eBsions. Some have been warned 
of death by the vision of a cat, or a dog, or a bird ; by the 
fictitious opening or closing of a shutter, of a window^ of a 
door ; by knocks strnck on a bed, by steps heard, by appari- 
tions of beings always clothed, by demands for prayers 
when the dead wished to be delivered from purgatory. These 
are evidently personal impressions, produced by a telepathic 
cause, and not manifestations of an astral body wliich had 
transported itself. 

It is sometimes stated in sSanceSf as an axiomatic principle, 
that an hypothesis should explain everything; but this is an 
error. An hypothesis may explain certain facts and not ex- 
plain others. 

That is what happens here. But we do not the less admit 
the psychic action of one mind upon another from a distance, 
and without the senses as an intermediary, because this 
action does not explain everything. 

It explains the impressions of the brain and the fictitious 
appearances. It does not explain the real movement of 
objects, 

A theory which would account for a great number of the 
impressions already related would be as follows: 

A dying person originates, either by a direct effort of will 
or without it (this is a question for investigation), a move- 
ment in the ether, which proceeding onward strikes a brain 
in synchronous vibration, and determines an impression in 
that part of it where the optic and auditory nerves arise; 

305 



THE UNKNOWN 

this impression will yary according to the exact condition of 
that particular region in the percipient. 

For instance (letter 610^ p. 151), a child who had a passion 
for birds heard the cry of a bird so plainly that it caused him 
to look for a bird. The next day information was received 
of the death of a relative. 

Bat we do not pretend to discover all at once under what 
form transmission operates. The most reasonable hypothesis 
seems to be that of spheric undulatory vibrations of ether; 
this does not suffice for the explanation of all cases. In the 
case of hypnotic mental transmission a form of thought pro- 
jection appears to be involved which may be compared to the 
call of a silent voice. It is known that if a call or a cry be 
directed in the same way, distinctly towards a definite direc- 
tion, the sound caused by it is transmitted by spheric undula- 
tions across the atmosphere, just as light is across space. Is 
it not possible that there exists an even more complete pro- 
jection of mind, a kind of exteriorization of force which 
escapes from the being about to die, and influences the friend 
towards whom it is directed ? It even seems that sometimes 
**the phantom" created in the sub-conscious state of tho 
subject — the cause of the effect transmitted — ^brings with it 
some material elements of the organism.' A projection of 
psychic force can transform itself into physical, electrical, 
and mechanical effects. Modern investigation has established 
with certainty the correlation of energy, and its mental trans- 
formations. Are not motion and heat daily transformed into 
energy ? When Cremieux was shot, and made Clovis Hugues 
hear knocks struck on his table, it is possible that there was 
no cerebral influence, but a real production of knocks. It is 
not possible that these results are always imaginary and sub- 
jective. The impressions produced upon animals, a piano 
which plays all alone, a china service thrown to the ground — 
collective sensations (see notes on pp. 147 and 180) indicate 
olDJective realities. It does not seem to uS; however, that the 
elements of this problem are at present sufficiently under- 

^ E. Gyrl, Uitre stib^conseient, pp. 88 et 152. 
806 



PSYCHIC ACTION 



stood to authorize a definite conclnsion ; all the more because 
it Beems probable tliat very often the dying person has not 
thought at all of the one who has been made telepathically 
aware of his death. 

It may be that mind, force, matter are all tli3erent mani- 
festations of one and the same entity, an entity which oor 
senses do not perceive. Perhaps there exists a single princi- 
ple belonging to intelligence, force, and matter, embracing 
all that is actual and all that is potential^a first cause and 
u final canse, the differentiations of which are only different 
forms of movement. At this point let ns remark in passing 
that if thought is not to be scientifically considered as a sen- 
sation of matter, but as a form of movement of a universal 
principle, it is no longer logical to maintain that death of 
the organism results in destruction of the intelligence. 

Dying maoifestations do not, of coarse, represent a gen- 
eral experience, a law of nature, a function of life or of 
death. They appear exceptionally, without known cansOj 
and without apparent reason. The proportion of them is 
perhaps not more than one in a thousand deaths. Witli this 
proportion there would be about fifty dying manifestations 
in Paris a year. Are there even this number ? 

Is not the manifestation of atmospherical electricity by 
strokes of lightning of more frequent occurrence ? 

These communications are in no way the result of the in- 
telligence, nor the knowledge, nor the moral worth of either 
the person who dies or the person who receives the manifes- 
tation. Obvious laws are no more distinguishable in them 
than they are in the effects of lightning. A stroke of elec- 
tricity strikes a living being or an inanimate object in con- 
sequence of a momentary connection, the causes of which are 
liidden from science. 

These various psychic discoveries, however, put us on the 
track of a class of subjects which are worthy of all our atten- 
tion. Le Verrier often expressed to me the opinion that 
the most interesting and most important things in science 
are the anomalies, the exceptions* 

We may say with Ch. da Prel that as long as progress is 

807 



THE UNKNOWN 

possible there will be inexplicable phenomena, and that the 
more these phenomena appear to ns impossible, the more is 
their natnre adapted to carrying ns forward in a knowledge 
of the enigma of the universe. 

We will add, with the authors of the Phantasms of the 
Living, that there seems to be a complete divorce between 
the scientific opinions of cultivated men and their beliefs. 
The old religious orthodoxy was too narrow to contain man's 
science; the new materialistic orthodoxy is too narrow to 
contain his aspirations and his feelings. The time has come 
to raise ourselves above the materialistic point of view, and 
to attain conceptions which will permit us to regard these 
subtle communications between mind and mind as possible; 
even more, the communication between visible things and 
those invisible, which have from all time inspired literature 
and art : 

Star to star vibrates light ; may soul to soul 
Strike thro' some finer element of her own ? 

This question of Tennyson's has been unconscionsly 
answered in all ages, by the lover, by the poet, by all those 
who are enthusiastic in a generous cause. To some of us, as 
to Qoethe, in certain hours of passion, this subtle communi- 
cation becomes apparent with luminous clearness. With 
others, as with Bacon, this conviction is slowly formed along 
lines revealed by the daily study of mankind. But now, for 
the first time, we know that these silent messages really issne 
forth ; that these impressions spread out and communicate 
themselves. 

We say that this force is of a psychic order, and not physi- 
cal, or physiological, or chemical, or mechanical, because it 
produces and transmits ideas and thoughts, and because it 
manifests itself without the co-operation of our senses, soul to 
souU mind to mind. 

There can be no doubt that our psychic force creates a 
movement of the ether, which transmits itself afar like all 
movements of the ether, and becomes perceptible to brains in 
harmony with our own. The transfoormation of a psychic 

3» 



PSYCHIC ACTION 

action into an ethereal moyement^ and the reverse^ may he 
analogous to what takes place on the telephone^ where the 
receptive plate^ which is identical with the plate at the other 
end, reconstructs the sonorous movement transmitted, not 
by means of sound, but by electricity. But these are only 
comparisons. 

The action of one mind upon another at a distance, above 
all, under circumstances so solemn as those of death, and of 
sudden death in particular, the transmission of thought, 
mental suggestion, communication at a distance, all these are 
not more extraordinary than the action of the magnet on 
iron, the influence of the moon on the sea, the transportation 
of the human voice by electricity, the revolution of the chemi- 
cal constituents of a star by the analysis of its light^ or, indeed, 
all the wonders of contemporary science. Only these psychic 
transmissions are of a more elevated kind, and may serve to 
put us on the track of a knowledge of human nature. 

The gradual progress of our inquiry will probably lead us 
to the admission that there are real, objective, substantial 
apparitions, reproductions of the living, and perhaps even of 
manifestations of the dead. But we will not anticipate. 

What is certain is : 

That telepathy can and ought to be henceforth 
considered by sciences as an incontestable reality. 

Minds are able to act upon each other without 
the intervention of the senses. 

Psychic force exists. Its nature is yet unknown. 



CHAPTER Vn 

THE WOBLD OP DEBAMS.— INFINITE VARIETY OF DREAMS. — 
CEREBRAL PHYSIOLOGY.— PSYCHIC DREAMS: MANIFESTA- 
TIONS OF THE DYING EXPERIENCED DURING SLEEP. — 
TELEPATHY IN DREAMS 

The psychic phenomena which we have just discussed may 
occur during sleep as well as in the waking state. The 
question of sleep and of dreams has been already studied it 
is true^ by a number of acute observers/ but it must be ad- 
mitted that these studies are still very insufficiently ex- 
plained. Sleep is not an exceptional condition in our lives ; 
on the contrary, it is a normal function of our organic life, 
of which it occupies, in general terms, a third part. A man 
or a woman who has lived to sixty years of age has slept 
about twenty of them. There can be no doubt that the 
hours passed in sleep are hours of repose, of repair of the 
vital powers, of tranquillity both for the brain and for the 
limbs ; but they are not dead hours. Our intellectual facul- 
ties remain in activity, with this essential and vital differ- 
ence, that it is our unconscious self which is now in action, 
and not the conscious reasoning powers of the waking state. 

If any subject is constantly in our thoughts, that subject 

* Specially to be consulted : Leubet et Gratiolet, Anatomie eomparee 
du.8y8Ume nerteux Paris, 1839-1857; Baillarger, Des Hallueinatidns, 
Paris, 1852; Macario, Du Sommeil des rives et du Somnambulisme^ Paris, 
1857; Lelut, Physiohgie de la pensee, Paris, 1862 ; Alfred Maury, Lc 
Sommeil et les rives, Paris, 1862 ; Liebault, Du Sommeil et des Stats ana- 
logues, Paris, 1866 ; Hervey, Les Betes et Us moyens de Us diriger, Paris, 
1867; Max Simon, Le Monde des rives, Paris. 1888; Vaschide. C. R, 
Acad, des sciences, 1899, II., p. 188; P. W. H. Myers, **De la conscience 
subliminale," Annates des science psycMques, 1899. 

810 



THE AVORLD OF BREAMS 



occurs frequently in our dreams. Life is reflected in dreams. 
Those persons whose ideas are strong, and whose thoughts 
are powerful, have intense dreams ; those who think very lit- 
tle dream lightly. There are as many dreams as there are 
ideas, and all the attempts at classification of them have been 
vain and illusory. 

We do not always remember dreams. In order to seize a 
dream as it passes^ it is necessary to be very suddenly awak- 
ened, and to retain a vivid impression of it, for nothing is 
more easily destroyed than the rGcollection of a dream. It is 
generally the affair of a second or two, and unless it is im- 
mediately grasped, it vanishes — like a dream, A large num- 
ber of writers assert that d reams only occur in the morning, 
just before awakening, or in the evening, before going to 
sleep. 

This is an error. It is only necessary to wake up — either 
spontaneously or in response to something without — at any 
hour of the night to prove that we are always dreaming, or 
almost always. But we do not always remember ; indeed, we 
do not often remember, any more than we remember three- 
fourths of the thoughts which have crossed our brain during 
the day* 

In general, we dream of things with which we are occu- 
pied, or persons whom we know. Still, there are curious ex- 
ceptions to this, and sometimes thoughts, which have been 
most intense during the day, are not retained during the 
following sleep* The cerebral colls concerned with them 
have become exbanstod, and are in repose ; and this is often 
very fortunate. On the other hand, time and space are an- 
nihilated in dreams. The events of several hours, or even 
of several days, can be unrolled in a second. You can re- 
trace a great number of years, and find yourself again in your 
infancy, with persons long since dead, without these remote 
recollections appearing to be weakened. You meet persons 
of another age, without astonishment, in dreams. It is also 
possible to dream of things which never happened, and, more- 
over, are impossible. Absurd and ludicrous images of the 
most incongruous and incoherent character are associated 

811 



THE UNKNOWN 

together without the slightest probability or the slightest 
reason. 

Dreams are influenced by a thousand different causes^ 
outside of the mind itself. Difficulty of digestion^ disturb- 
ance of respiration, the position of the body, a rustling of 
the sheet or of the night-dress, a covering which is too 
heavy, a chill, a noise, a light, an odor, the touch of a 
hand, hunger, thirst, general repletion, all have an effect on 
dreams. 

In this connection may be mentioned a common hypnotic 
hallucination: namely, that of falling down a hole, sliding 
down a staircase, slipping to the bottom of a precipice. It 
occurs generally, just after sleep has begun, at the moment 
when the limbs become completely relaxed, and, as it seems 
to me, the centre of gravity of the body is entirely changed. 
It is, no doubt, this sudden displacement of our centre of 
gravity which gives rise to this kind of dream. When we 
consider the question of Time we shall have occasion to rettim 
to the astonishing rapidity of dreams. 

Our attitudes in sleep tend to a passive equilibrium. All 
the activities of the senses fade away by degrees, and oblivion 
of the external world arrives by insensible transitions, as if the 
soul slowly withdrew itself into its innermost recesses. The 
eyelids close, and the eye is soonest asleep. The sense of 
touch loses its faculties of perception, and then it also sleeps. 
The sense of smell disappears in its turn. Hearing is the last 
to disappear, remaining like a vigilant sentinel to warn us in 
case of danger, but at length it also fades away. Then sleep 
is complete, and the world of dreams opens itself before onr 
thoughts with all its infinite diversity. 

About my twentieth year (nineteen to twenty-three) I 
amused myself by observing my dreams and writing them 
down, upon my awakening, with commentaries which offered 
some explanation of them. Since that time I have continued 
to take notes on the subject, but only rarely. I have just 
looked over this register, which is very voluminous ; it is en- 
titled "Ovapoi, and is written, for amusement, I suppose, 
sometimes in Greek and sometimes in Latin. Its sub-titles 

312 



THE WOKLD 01 



were FrwOt tram-av and 'Efiwepla. I have formed from it some 
conclusions, wliicli are not witlioot interest. 

I will extract from this unpublished register some dreams 
and some reflections which seem to mc entirely in place here: 

''I had left the Obaorvatory in Paris, in consequence of 
some difierence of opinion with its director, Le Verrier, and I 
was in charge of the calculations relating to the future posi- 
tions of the moon at tlie Bureau dea Longitudes. I dreamed 
that I was at the Palais fioyalj in the Orleans galleiy, at the 
publisher Ledoyen's^ and that M, Le Verrier entered and 
bought my first book. La Fhtraliii des Mondes hahUh, 

** Seeing me there: 'Is it by him?' said he, looking at 
me, 'Yes, monsicnr/ answered the publisher, ^and it is the 
greatest success in our bosinesa/ 

'' There were several ladies in the shop. They all disap- 
peared as if by magic, and I found myself alone with Le Ver- 
rier in an immense hotel sahti. 

" * Are yon pleased with Mathieu, Langier, and Delannay, 
at tiie Bureau des Longitudes ?' he said to me. ' You would 
do better to return to the Observatory/ 

'* * I am very well satisfied,' I answered. * These calcnla- 
tions are more interesting to me than your reductions of 
observations.' 

*' ' There is no future there V continued he* ' In your place 
I should go into a department/ 

*' ^ M. Rouland has received an application to admit me to 
that of the Public Works, in the Statistical Bureau of 
France/ 

''^Koaland? Ko, Legoix/ 

"'You are right. But I have refused. Astronomy is 
worth more than anything else to me/ 

" ' Still, the principal thing in life is to have a good place/ 

'' * We are not put into the world to eat, but to nourish our 
minds on the food they prefer/ 

** 'You are very disinterested! You will never succeed/ 

'* * Yon and I do not interpret science in the same way. 
For me it is not a means, it is itself its own proper end/ 

*' * I could confer upon you an important post at the Obaer- 

813 



THE UNKNOWN 

yatory^ bufc in order to do that it would be necessary that you 
should leave the Bureau des Longitudes^ and that I should 
have a guarantee that you would not again leave the Ob- 
servatory/ 

'' ' And why should I leave a situation which will realize a 
part of my hopes ? 

" ' What you call philosophical astronomy is a chimera. 
Astronomy is calculation/ 

'' * Calculation is its foundation, nothing more/ 

" * We shall see/ he said, turning on his right heel and going 
towards a curtain which led, as it seemed to me, into his own 
apartment in the hotel, he left me to my own reflections/ 

" I woke up ; seven o^clock struck/' 

This dream is easily explained by my preoccupations at the 
time. The illustrious astronomer preserved in it exactly the 
type of character which I knew in him. 

The substitution of the name of Eouland, Minister of Pub- 
lic Instruction, for that of Ron her, Minister of Public Works, 
must have been caused by similarity in the two names, and 
by the fact that I was much more familiar with the first name 
than the second. M. Legoix was then head of the Bureau of 
Statistics, and it had indeed been a serious question with me 
whether I should enter it. Le Verrier manifested a profound 
contempt for the Bureau des Longitudes on all occasions. 
This dream, then, was simply the reflection, the echo of real 
thoughts. 

This first dream is very reasonable. We shall consider 
others which are much less so. Here is one which termi- 
nates in a very strange manner : 

" I met my friend. Dr. Edouard Foumie, who reproached 
me with not having been to see him for a long time, 
and he added: 'These reproaches are not only on my own 
part, they also come from Mademoiselle A., who complains 
of your indifference. You were not present to dance with 
her at the ball at Madame P.'s; she was annoyed at this, be- 
cause she heard that you had gone to another soiree, and 
her distress, which she could mention to no one, brought on 
the poor child a brain fever. 

3U 



THE WORLD Ol 

" * A yoiiug sargeon and medical student attended her and 
saved her life. He has not only cured that fever, but even 
its cause, for as soon as ho saw she had the fh^e conjugah 
(the bean found in the Epiphany cake which foretells matri- 
mony) he became passionately in love with her; she respond- 
ed to his affection, and now it is he whom she loves. She is 
entirely cured,'" 

I read in the note attached to this dream; "I knew Ma- 
demoiselle A. I had a lively admiration for her, and I had 
dedicated my romance^ Si iu savais^ to her ; but I had not 
believed that any reciprocity existed on her aide, I had met 
at Dr. Fournie's house a young surgeon from the Val-du- 
Grace, in a very elegant costume, who appeared to me to be 
paying attentions to the young lady, I was annoyed at this, 
and I withdrew. The dream in this case also is only an as- 
Bociation of habitual ideas. But the expression feve conju- 
gale is curious, because it would seem to be a distortion of 
fihre cerebralBf which is assonant. It is very extravagant, 
although it resembles to some extent the metamorphosis of 
Rouher into Rouland, in the preceding dream. One feels 
that the cells of the brain work obscurely in the unconscious 
state. It may even be that, in reviewing the situation of the 
dream, it is possible to trace another association of images 
which may have given rise to this singular expression by 
rapid unconscious cerebration. . • ." 

"In another dream I found myself in the rear ranks of an 
army in battle. Bullets whizzed around me, enormous can- 
non-balls succeeded them, but tliere was no sound, I looked 
at the cannon-balls approaching, and turned sometimes to 
the left, sometimes to the right, according to their direction; 
but they succeeded each other so rapidly and at such short 
intervals that I concluded the best thing to be done was not 
to disturb myself, for in avoiding one I put myself within 
range of another, 

**I said to myself then: 'What fools men are to amuse 
themselves like this ! Have they nothing better to do ?' " 

The explanation of this dream also is very simple. I had 
drawn an unlucky number in the conscription a fortnight 

315 



THE UNKNOWN 

previously. What is perhaps most noticeable about it was 
the inoffensive and noiseless cannon-balls which could be 
seen approaching. 

Another dream : 

" I was in a public place, together with several persons. 
In the air, above our heads, was an immense balloon, which 
seemed to struggle desperately against the wind. All at 
once it overturned completely, the car being uppermost. A 
crowd gathered, expecting to see the aeronaut fall. But a 
parachute was suddenly projected into space, and the aero- 
naut descended safely.^' 

This dream is ridiculous. It is difficult to imagine that a 
balloon could be overturned in this way. Irrational things 
which could not possibly occur are common in dreams. Sev- 
eral weeks previously M. de la Landelle had announced the 
ascent of a monster balloon. 

^' I dreamed that several women accosted me in the street. 
The last of them being remarkably pretty and youthful, I 
turned round to look at her. But then I heard some one 
say: 'Here comes the president! Here comes the presi- 
dent V I was ashamed and I went on my way.^^ 

I was then president of a little society of young people who 
consecrated their leisure to literature. I had acted in the 
dream as I should have acted if I had been awake. 

'' To-day, October 5, 1863, Mademoiselle K. D. told me that 
she dreamed of seeing me in the heavens, on the other side 
of the moon, with a golden compass in my hand, engaged in 
measuring unknown space. All at once I descended rapidly 
towards her, to tell her that there was a new planet there 
which was not yet known. 

'^ To-day I have received number 1439 of the Astronomische 
Nachrichten, which informs me that a new planet has just 
been discovered. It is not yet known ia France, and I shall 
announce it to-morrow in the Cosmos.^' 

This is no doubt a mere coincidence. About the same 
date I read in my register the following note : 

"Dr. Hoefer, director of the Biographie Generale, pub- 
lished by Didot, told me to-day that dreams represent opera- 

816 



THE WOKLD OF DREAMS 



»iis of tbe miud which are complex and difficuU to deter- 
mine. In the article on Humboldt^ he had said that Germany 
had two great men to be proud of^ — ^Frederic the Great and 
Alexander von Humboldt — widely as their genius differed* 
The latter, to whom Dr. Hoefer had sent a proof, had written 
to entreat him, in the most earnest terms, tu withdraw this 
comparison^ considering himself too small a man to be called 
a genius in the same country as Leibnitz, and too much 
devoted to the principles of liberty to be put in comparison 
with Frederic the Great. 

'^Dr. Hocfcr had delayed his answer to this letter from day 
to*day,when ho heard of the death of this illuBtrions scientist. 

'* About two months afterwards he dreamed that he found 
himself in an immense and splendid saloUy brilliantly deco- 
rated, in which an attentive audience listened to an orator. 
This orator was himself* But as he walked about on the 
platform he recognized his friend Humboldt. ^WiatF he 
cried, suddenly, interrupting himself in his discourse, *WJiai^ 
is it yott? They told me you were dead.* 

*' 'No, my dear friend,' answered Humboldt, Hhat was a 
Joke. I circulated the report that I was dead, but you see 
very well that it is not so/ ^' 

This dream was again the result of habitual preoccnpations, 
and the dead Hnmboldt certainly did not appear in it by 
chance. 

"In a dream I was present at a spiritualistic semice, in 
which M. Mathien, dean of the Bureau des Longitudes and 
of the Academic des Sciences (brother-in-law of Arago) was 
the medium. The head of my father appeared to me, looking 
very beautiful, as though it were made of ivory or wax, I 
was not at all impressed with this representation ; the less so 
because my father, who was very much alive in this dream, 
as he was in reality, took part in the exhibition and did not 
wish to believe in it.*' 

This must be classed among astounding absurdities. 

"I set out from the observatory, at the Bureau des Calculs 
of the Bureau des Longitudes (this is a mistake ; it was then 
on the Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs)* I had gone there to 
i 317 



THE UNKNOWN 

give a toast * to the downfall of M. Le Verrier/ I crossed a 
court of medisBTal Gothic architecture^ which does not exist, 
and went to Montrouge, at which place are the ramparts of 
the town of Langres, with their extensive view over the 
country/^ 

This is an association of ideas and of contradictory images. 

" In a dream I saw men flying, who passed over the Rue de 
Eivoli. Among them was my uncle Charles, who had just 
come from America in their company/' 

I was then preparing (1864) my second work, Les Mondes 
Imaginaires, where the question of flying men is discussed; 
and in spiritualistic sSances communications had been signed 
by this uncle Charles (who was not dead at all). 

** After the bal de V Opera. The orchestra continnes to 
play, the dances have not ceased, the circumstances and the 
complications proceed as usual.'* 

Sensations of the previous day continued. 

" A magnificent day spent at Athens. I made a slow jour- 
ney, and I arrived there before sunrise. I was on the Acrop- 
olis, in sight of a magnificent panorama. I wandered among 
the tombs, the monuments of white marble, and the reclining 
statues.'' 

Pure imagination. 

"M. le Verrier often appeared in my dreams. He occupied 
my thought decidedly more by night than he did by day. 
This night, in particular, I was in the little house belonging 
to the guardian of the Observatory. It was late. Madame 
le Verrier came to find me, and talked to me with all the 
amiability in the world. We walked in the gardens. She as- 
sured me that her husband would be very glad to see me 
again; that I should have an instrument for my own use 
whenever I wished, and that I should be entirely indepen- 
dent; all of which things were not only unlikely but im- 
possible." 

This is copied from the text. It is exactly what did hap- 
pen ten years later : M. Verrier then placed the grand 
equatorial at my disposition for my measurements of double 
stars. 

818 



THE WORLD OF DKEAMS 



Here is a portion of a letter -which I have hesitated io 
print (al though dreams are assuredly not real), 

I had a comrade named Sazin. 

" I returned from yonr house yesterday OTening," he wrote, 
*^ with Laareiit, Deflandre, and Grouet, and I met with noth- 
ing on the way which could have given rise to the dream 
which I had that night Towards half-past one I went to 
sleep. I dreamed that I found myself with yon on the boiile- 
yard» A woman of the town, whom I knew, passed by me^ 
and was accosted by a man who went away with her, I fol- 
lowed thoui (in my dream), and remained an invisible spec- 
tator. Tlio man was tall and fair, with the air of an Eogtiah- 
man. I did not know him. What was my surprise when, 
the next morniug, as I passed along the street, I saw the 
same woman and the same man come oat of Ko. 68 Rne de 
la Victoire.'' 

This case is interesting without being conclusive. It is not 
impossible that the writer may have met this fair gentleman 
in hi8 part of the town, without noting it; he might have 
done BO this very evening, not far from the woman ; and 
they were then associated in the dream* Even as a coinci- 
dence it is not the less curious. 

'* I met in the gardens of the Luxembourg M. Desains, who 
was a member of the Institute, a professor at the Sorbonne, 
and physicist to the Observatory* This was an event of fre- 
qnent occurrence. He told me to write a book on les hommes 
eles planeie,^^ which should be a restoration of Wolff's theory, 
according to which the stature of human beings is in pro- 
portion to the dimensions of their eyes, while the eyes them- 
selves are m proportion to the dilatation of the retina, the 
latter being inversely proportional to the intensity of the 
light. Ileuce, in our solar system the inhabitants of Mercury 
would be the smallest and those of Neptune the most gigantic. 

'^ *It is only for your own sake that I make the sugges- 
tion,* he said. * You must do what yon choose about it.' " 

The explanation of this dream is equally divided between 
my researches in astronomy and in physiology^ both of which 
belonged to this period. 

810 



THE UNKNOWN 

If I record a nnmber of these dreams ifc is because the in- 
vestigation is far from irrelevant to psychology in general, 
and to the problems with which we are now engaged. It 
may be that our conclusions will be very applicable when 
we consider spiritualism. 

^^I dreamed of being on a high mountain. A flight of 
crows passed by me croaking. They divested themselves of 
their outside covering, just as snakes do with their skins, 
and butterflies free themselves from their chrysalis. When 
these vestures fell around me, I saw, to my astonishment, that 
they did not resemble crows, but the dried-up heads of 
ourang-outangs. The astronomer Babinet, who was there, 
flUed his pockets with them/' 

Explanation : The day before I had specially noticed the 
constellation of the crow in Flamstead's celestial atlas. The 
scientist Babinet was not good-looking, and his face, like that of 
Littre, made one think of the simian origin of the human race. 

" When I woke this morning I heard a name pronounced, 
* Mademoiselle d'Arquier.' Now yesterday I had written 
in the Cosmos that perforated nebulosity had been discov- 
ered by Arquier in 1779.'' 

I also find in the same note-book the following notes : 

'* Almost all my dreams at the present time have for their 
object the most beautiful young woman I have ever met in 
society, Madame S. M. 

" Any one who knows the nature of a man's dreams will 
know his feelings. 

^^ Although it often happens that the dominant thoughts of 
the evening before are largely concerned in dreams, they do 
not fill the mind so completely as they do during the day. 
Other unexpected impressions mingle with them, and our 
dreams are even sometimes in opposition to our real feelings. 
There are true dreams and false dreams, and if we formed our 
judgment upon certain dreams we should run the risk of 
judging incorrectly. 

" M. Dichie, the editor, informs me that he preserves con- 
sciousness in his dreams, and knows perfectly that what is 
happening is not real. 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 



P 



» 



^ A long time ago/ lie told mo, * I dreamed that I was in 
^a salon by the side of an elegant and very attractive woman. 
I took her in my arms, I embraced her, and she allowed me to 
do so, in spite of the number of people who were looking on. I 
said to m3^self, "Tliia is of no conseqoence, becanae I am 
[iflreaming/^ And, as a result, I acted towards all these non- 
existent glances as if I had been alone/ 

" Once, in a dream, he was pursued by a ruffian, and, being 
on the point of seizure, he said to himself, ' In order to es- 
cape him I have only to finish this dream by waking np.' 
nd he did wake up." 

Another extract from the same note-book. 

*^I went to the chateaa deCompieane, where M, Filon, the 
preceptor of the prince imperial, conversed with me about 
Home, wliom at that time I did not know, I dined and 
slept at the college. The principal, M. Paradis, informed 
I' me of a dream which deserves to be written down* He was 
sleeping profoundly, and dreamed that an immense and hide- 
ous spider seized him and sat on his chest. His horror was 
such that he woke up with a violent start. His wife ob- 
served this and asked him the cause of his sudden awaken- 
ing, upon which he related to her the nature of his night* 
mare, Madame Paradis spread ont her hand on the cover- 
lid and found there a large spider/' 

Probably the dreamer received, while asleep, the impression 
of the movement of the detestable creature over hia hand or 
his neck, and this impression determined the dream. 

''I had a dream in which I bled from the nose, a thing 
which never, or almost never, happens to me. This morning, 
when I waked up, I perceived that there was a little blood in 
my nostrils." 

This also is an impression caused by a physical sensa- 
tion. 

" I was in a cavern in a volcano at Paris, or in the envi- 
rons. I do not know what happened to me in connection 
with a passer-by, but I spoke to him with haughtiness, keep- 
ing my hat on my head, and I requested him to go on his 
way without saying a word to me. All at once, at the bot- 
X 321 



THE UNKNOWN 

torn of the cave^ a soft and dazzling light illnmined the 
bowels of the volcano, and I saw open before me magnificent 
mines of crystal, which developed into brilliant stalactites. 
The earth did not tremble. Shades, covered with monks' 
hoods, came out of the opening in the earth, dressed in robes 
of serge. A slight movement of terror escaped me, but I was 
soon able to collect myself, and to await the approach of one 
of these spectres with calmness. I alone was present out of 
the living world, and I was not afraid, for I was at this mo- 
ment dominated by an ardent desire to question one of these 
shades as to the other world, so that I might at last possess 
the certainty I longed for. As soon as one of these dead ap- 
proached sufficiently near me, I advanced towards him and 
inquired with entreaties whether he had really returned 
from the abode of the dead, whether all men lived again 
there, and if there existed a positive and definite world for 
the dead as for the living. He was about to answer me when 
the scene changed, and instead of the irregular columns of 
natural crystal which had been visible in the depths, un- 
known substances, limpid, transparent, and decorated with 
rich vapors, moved upward from below, and then downward. 
It was a splendid effect. A beautiful light illumined these 
diflferent colors. The shades continued their tranquil move- 
ments. The earth did not tremble, and the majesty of the 
spectacle was in no way disturbed by the terrible. Still, the ' 
idea that the end of the world was at hand took possession of 
me, I felt my words die on my lips, and soon I lost the desire 
to put the questions I have alluded to, for I thought each in- 
stant that I should pass without effort from the living state 
in which I was to the state beyond the grave, where were 
those who surrounded me/' 
A note appended to this dream seems to explain it : 
**I have thought a great deal lately in regard to a future 
state, and upon the possibility of creations different from 
that in the midst of which we live.'' 

" I thought I was dt the academic publisher's, Didier's, 
where I published my first works. La pluralite des mondes 
hoMUSy Les mondes imaginaires, Dieu dans la Nature, etc. 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 



I found there MM. Cousin, Goizot, de Barante, rle Mont- 
alembert, Lamartino^ Maimry, Mignet, Thiers, Caro — all 
of whom I have really met there occasionally. MM. Jean 
Reyuand, Henri Martin, and Charton, whom I knew more 
intimately, bad stopped me for a moment at the door, on 
the quay, and begged me not to remain long, because there 
was a reunion near by at the Mufjasin piitoj'esque* M. 
D idler said to me a moment after my arrival : ' Come with 
me to the Tuileries, the band of the Guards is playing/ 
We left every one in the shop, and we set out* ' Have you 

' no loQger your employe Maindrow ?* I inquired of him on the 
way. * No/ * Shall yon not replace him ?* ' If I were sure 
of a good substitute, an industrious and intelligent boy.* * I 
have one to suggest to you/ * Eeally ?' * Yes ; my brother. 
He is very yonng; he is four years younger than I am, lie 
loves business^ and I aoi very sure that he would be satisfac- 
tory in the shop.' ^ Well, let na have him then.' 

'^ We reached the Tuileries, the chairs were all filled, and 
we tried to edge ourselves in. The Emperor, w!io was seated 
on a chair, rose and offered it to M, D idler, saying to him : 
'What has happened to Maury, that one no longer sees him ?' 
'8ire,^ answered tlie publisher, Hliey are all at this moment 
in my shop, preparing a coup iVitat^* At this moment the 

^ scene changed before my eyes, and gave place to a valley in 
the Hmde-Mariw, opposite Bourmont, and I saw a stream 
on its border wliere I used to play with my brother when I 
was a little fellow/' 

This dream can be explained by a very simple association 

fof ideas. I had really placed ray brother as an employ^ in 
Didier's publishing house. Some days before the dream I 

^had dined and slept at the house of the historian Henri Mar- 
tin, where there had been some discussion of the coup d'etat^ 

J and the remembrance of the authors whom I had met more 

'than once on the qval des Aiignsiins had aroused all these 
reminiscences* M. Maury was librarian to the Emperor, and 
often breakfasted with him. The idea of all these authors 

f being in the publishing house on the same day and at the 
same hour is, of course, wholly improbabie ; the idea of the 

m 



THE UNKNOWN 

Emperor being seated on a chair at the music at the Tniler- 
ies is absurd. But in dreams everything appears natural. 

"M. Didier was not dead, and entering the shop during 
the day, I saw him, as usual, and we shook hands without ap- 
parently feeling any astonishment. I then dreamed that 
they had buried him in a lethargy three days preyionsly 
(December 5, 1865), and that he had awakened in the tomb. 
But I did not think proper to ask him for an explanation of 
this occurrence, and we spoke of the affairs of the business 
house. 

"After some conversation we went out together, as we were 
in the habit of doing, and we walked along the quays towards 
the Tuileries. M. Didier's person, although in no way dif- 
ferent from that which I had known, was strange and rev- 
erend. He was, nevertheless, very brisk, and I said to him 
that he had the appearance of one raised from the dead. *I 
may very well have the appearance of it,' he answered, 'since 
I am so.' He wished eagerly to take me by the hand, but an 
unconquerable horror withheld me. 

"'Excuse me for refusing you,' I said, *but for some 
reason that I do not understand I cannot do as you wish.' 

" This answer caused him to be annoyed with me. I made 
a great effort and I took his arm in mine ; but soon I began 
to tremble and was forced to draw back. 'Let us converse 
side by side,' I said to him. 

"He seemed to me a dead man walking, and I saw by his 
answers that he no longer possessed his intelligence nor his 
judgment, and that he spoke like an automaton. When by 
accident my face approached his lips I perceived an evil 
odor, which completed my horror. I do not know what al- 
tercation then took place between us, but I disputed with 
this dead man, and finally he gave me a blow. 

" At the same moment a troop of gendarmes and of sergeants 
de ville came up, and, instead of being at the Institute, be- 
fore which we were, we found ourselves on the slope of a hill. 
I then looked at my companion fixedly. 'Do you not 
know,' I said to him, ' that I am Camille Flammarion, your 
favorite author ?' 

824 



DREj 



i 



'^ITe seemed to remember, * Yes/ said be — 'a great an- 
* thor. But wliy won't you liavo anything to do with me, 
Sylvie ? You have a horror of me, Sylvie/ 
" *'I am not Sylvie/ I said, 'but Camille/ 
''He took me by the liaud, and the contact was so horri- 
ble that I awoke/* 

This nightmaro may have been caused by the death of this 
friend, which happened three days previously. He died sud- 
denly, while sitting at the omnibus office in the Place Saint- 
Michel, and when I saw him next day upon hia bed I asked 
myself whether he was not in a lethargy. This death made 
& profound impression upon me, and when I was asked to 
pronounce an address at his grave, I had not been able, in 
doing so, to control my emotion. The aggressive form of this 
nightmare is inexplicable. The substitution at tho end is 
very singular. Still there are dreams oven more incohoront. 
Thus in another dream the sea was at Montmartre, and a 
I steamboat brought me to the Uaute-Marne on tho sea-shore, 
I Here is a more recent droam, which shows with certainty 

' the action of a cause to which the brain is a stranger snperim- 
posiug itself upon a dream and determining a new mirage: 
*^ This morning (June 6, 1897) I saw some one in a dream 
I knocking loudly with his heel on the step of a wooden stair- 
case. The noise woke me. It proved to be a round of 
! artillery, by which tho announcement was made at six o'clock 
in the morning of one of the unnnnl f$ies at Juvisy, on Whit- 
Sunday. This blow was struck less than two hundred yards 
from the observatory at the top of the Rue Camillo Flam- 
mariou. It was followed at once by two others. 
''Thus the noise which woke me had been the determining 
cause of an imago which had appeared to me before I was 
awake. 
*^That is to say, this image had produced itself during the 
I very short time necessary for awakening, perhaps in the tenth 
^K of a second* 

^" "When I saw the man knocking with his foot on the step 

I of the staircase, I was entirely without clothes, and I should 

be obliged, I thought, in order to leave the room where I was 



THE UNKNOWN 

and find my clothes, to cross the salon, where thirty persons 
were talking. My uneasiness lasted a long time, and I was 
seeking some way to get my clothes, when I awoke. Now 
when I woke up I felt that I was cold, having thrown off my 
covering. There can be no doubt that this sensation of cold 
determined my dream, jnst as the explosion determined the 
image of a man striking with his heel.'' 

It will be seen from these brief descriptions, taken from 
fact, how numerous and varied dreams are, and what differ- 
ent causes produce them. 

It is a physiological error to think that the physiological 
elements of dreams are derived solely from reality. For my- 
self, for example (and my case is not peculiar), I have very 
often dreamed of flyiug through the air, at a short distance 
above a valley or an attractive landscape. Indeed, it is to 
the agreeable sensation experienced in these dreams that I 
owe the desire to ascend in a balloon and to make aerial 
voyages. I should say, in this connection, that the sensation 
experienced during a balloon ascension, however splendid 
may be the extent of the panorama developed under one's 
eyes, and the solemn silence of the aerial elevation, cannot 
be compared with the motion felt in dreams, for in the car of 
the aeronaut one feels one's self motionless — a molecule of 
air plunged into other air which is in motion — and, therefore, 
we experience a sense of disillusion. 

It is not easy to see what are the facts in organic life 
which produce the sensation of flight in dreams. It certainly 
is not due to vertigo, as has been supposed. Could it arise 
from regret at being inferior to the birds? But the sen- 
sation F 

I have also often dreamed of talking with Napoleon. 
Certainly I often heard the conqueror spoken of in my child- 
hood, by men who had seen him, and my mind may have been 
impressed by this. But the relation of cause and effect re- 
mains very remote. 

Sometimes I see myself shut up in a tower with a bean- 
tif ul green meadow before me. What is the cause of this ? 

Sometimes I am condemned to death, and I have no 

886 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 



I 



* 



more than two hours, one honr, half an hoiir, a few minutes 
to live. Can this be a by-gone remembrance ? 

Again, I have travelled in a dream to other worlds, into 
infinite depths of space. But here there may be associations 
of thoiighta which are faoiiliar to me. 

In general, and in normal condition, dreams are bo numer- 
ous, so varied, so incoherent, that it is almost superfluous to 
seek their cause, outside of the associations of ideas latent in 
the mind, or of images dormant in the brain. One dreams, 
just as one thinks of all sorts of things and of situations, only 
instead of ihoughis as in the waking state, one imagines that 
one acts, that one sees the things thought of, and the ideas 
become apparent acts. The whole difference lies in this, 
and as reason is absent from these unconscious acts, the 
most extravagant situations are realized, very simply and 
without any sorprise, as if they were natural* 

Three characteristic phases may be observed in dreams* 
While in the waking state an idea remains an idea, in the 
dream it becomes an image, and then a reality, either a per- 
son or a thing. 

In a dream we personify our' own ideas, and we attribute 
to different personages thoughts and words which are en- 
tirely our own. 

A. Maury writes thus : *^In one of the clearest, most dis- 
tinct, most reasonable dreams which I have ever had, I car- 
ried on a discussion on the immortality of the soul with an 
antagonist, and we botli made use of opposite arguments, 
which were nothing but the objections that I had made my- 
self. This division which operates in the mind, and from 
which Dr. Wigan deduces proofs of his paradoxical thesis, 
the duality qf the ?mnd, is in general only a phenomenon of 
memory. We remember the pros and cons of a question, 
and in a dream we attribute the two kinds of opposite ideas 
to two different persons. On one occasion the word Mussi- 
dan came suddenly to my mind, I knew well at that time 
that it was the name of a town in France, but where it was 
situated I did not know, or, rather, I had forgotten. Some 
time afterwards I saw in a dream a certain person who told 

337 




THE UNKNOWN 

me that be came from Mnssidan. I asked him where the 
town was. He answered that it was the country town of a 
district in the Department of the Dordogne. At this point 
in the dream I woke up. It was morning. The dream re- 
mained perfectly distinct in my mind, but I was in doubt as 
to the correctness of what the person in the dream had told 
me. The name Mussidan still presented itself to my mind, 
as it had done previously — ^that is to say, without my know- 
ing where the town by that name was situated. I hastened 
to consult a geographical dictionary, and to my great as- 
tonishment I ascertained that the speaker in my dream knew 
more about geography than I did — that is to say in other 
words, I had remembered in my dream a fact forgotten in 
the waking state, and I had put into the mouth of another 
something which with me was only the faintest remem- 
brance. *' 

'^ A good many years ago, at a time when I wa% studying 
English, and when I was paying special attention to under- 
standing verbs accompanied by prepositions, I had the fol- 
lowing dream: I spoke English, and wishing to tell some 
one that I had paid him a visit the day before, I employed 
this expression: *I called for you yesterday.^ 'You ex- 
press yourself very badly,* he answered. ' What you should 
say is: I called on you yesterday.' The next morning, 
when I woke, the remembrance of this circumstance in my 
dream remained. I took a grammar placed on a neighbor- 
ing table, and I discovered that the imaginary person was 
right.'' 

The remembrance of something forgotten in the waking 
state had returned in a dream, and the observer attributed 
the workings of his own mind to another person. 

The large majority of dreams can be explained quite nat- 
urally by the concentration of thought during sleep. 

Max Simon and Alfred Maury consider that there is no 
one accustomed to intellectual work who is not convinced 
that the action of the brain is often accomplished without 
our knowledge and without the intervention of the will. 
Pacts illustrative of this action present themselves at every 



THE WORLD OF DKEAMS 



turn. When scholars have a lesson to learn, we find that 
they study it by preference in the evening, being convinced, 
and with reason, that this method is of material aid to them. 
They know a lesson, which they have learned, much better 
and more certainly the next morning than they did the even- 
ing before. Persons who have struggled with the difficulties 
^^ which are always encountered in acquiring a foreign language 
^■^liave experienced the following fact : If their daily occupa- 
^B tions or the duties of their position have obliged them on 
^m several occasions to interrupt their study of the language, 
^V they are some times surprised to find on returning to their 
[ work that the momentary refreshment has given them a more 
^m complete acquaintance with the foreign idiom than that they 
^y had on leaving it. A similar statement could be made in re- 
^ gard to original work, either in literary composition or in 
scientific research. If some difficulty hinders the worker, 
and he ceases to occupy himself with the subject which he is 
stndylog, he will find, after some days of repose, that his 
mind has, so to speak, done its work alone during this time* 
i He will advance with the greatest rapidity, and the obstacles 
^K which at first seetned to him almost insurmountable will be 
I^B a mere trifle. But one fact, which has a certain importance 
in this connection, must he notetl; it is that very frequently, 
in oases of unconscious cerebration, an impulse has been pri- 
marily given, or a direction imparted, to thought, and it is 
along the direction given by this impulse that the cerebral 
action continues until it results in a work of more com- 
^^pleteness.i 

^H It is easy to nnderstand that mental work, when it is the 
result of a cerebral impulse given during the evening and 
completing itself during sleep, may produce dreams which 
will be to some extent the reflected expression of the prob- 
lem on w^hich the sleeper was engaged, or the preoccupation 
which possessed him. 

Condillsc relates that, at the period when he was drawing 
np his courses of study, he found that if he was obliged to 

^ Max Simotij Ze Mond^ du rives, p. 40. 
329 




THE UNKNOWN 

leave an incomplete work in coarse of preparation, in order 
to sleep, he often found when he awoke that the work was 
completed in his mind. 

Voltaire mentions that one night he dreamed a complete 
canto of his Henriade, and that it was entirely diflferent from 
what he had written. 

One celebrated dream is often referred to in this connec- 
tion. It is one in which a scene of the most curious and fan- 
tastic character accompanied the unconscious intellectual 
labor of the dreamer, who was no other than Tartini. This 
celebrated composer went to sleep after having tried in vain 
to conclude a sonata; his preoccupation followed him into 
his sleep. In his dream he thought that he began his work 
over again, and that he was in despair at composing with so 
little inspiration and success ; at that moment the devil sud- 
denly appeared to him and offered to finish the sonata for 
him in exchange for his soul. Tartini, entirely overmastered 
by the apparition, accepted the devil's terms, and then dis- 
tinctly heard the latter execute the longed-for sonata on the 
violin, with an inexpressible charm of execution. He awoke, 
and in a transport of joy he ran to his desk and wrote from 
memory the part which he really believed he had heard. 

How are images like those just described in this dream of 
Tartini's produced ? To what mechanism do they owe their ap- 
pearance ? It is impossible to say; not because the question 
is insoluble, but because the narrator of facts which are not 
personal generally omits some datails which would supply us 
with the key to certain circumstances in the dream, because 
he thinks them of no importance. It is possible that this 
image of the devil associating himself with the mental work 
of the great composer had its raison d'itre and its explana- 
tion in the fact that some artistic representation, either drawn 
or painted, had been presented to the musician's sight, and 
some thought of it may have crossed his mind. But this point 
is of secondary importance. What we wish once more to lay 
stress upon is the manner in which the dream was produced, 
the genesis of the dream. Tartini's thoughts had been power- 
fully occupied with the musical composition upon which he 



OF DREAMS 



I 

I 



was at work, and, as ia frequently the case in operations of 
the mind, the idea, not being ripe, produced at first no effect; 
(but during sleep (and in spite of it) the incomplete work 
was finished, and the marvellous melody gushed, as it were, 
from the musician^s brain. 

If we take away the previous mental effort and tension of 
mind the dream would not have appeared — ^tbat is, sup- 
posing ifc to be true that this singular cerebral labor is only 
exercised upon the special object of the dream's study, on the 
science or the art which ho cultivates with passion. 

Graciolefc relates the dream here given, which is certainly 
ery grotesque : 

Some years ago, when occupied by my illustrious master, 
M. de Blainville, in a study of the organization of the brain, 
I prepared a very great number of brains, some of men and 
some of animals. I took off the membranes with care, I 
placed them in alcohol. Briefly stated, these were the antece- 
dents of the dream I am about to relate. 

''One night it seemed to me that I had extracted my own 
brain. I removed its membranes. After having completed 
the preparation I suspended it in alcohol, and then, after some 
time, I took it out and replaced it in my skull. Then it 
seemed to me that my brain bad undergone a great reduction 
in size, in consequence of the shrinkage dne to the alcohol. 
It filled the cranial cavity incompletely, so that I felt it shak- 
ing in my head; this sensation bewildered me so much that 
I woke up suddenly and recovered from that dream as from 
a nightmare. 

" No doubt this shows a grotesque and absurd imagination; 
hut it did not occur without a reason, and indeed this dream 
had a very evident relation to matters with which I was at that 
time particularly occupied. Probably I imagined myself to 
be removing a strange brain, and at that moment some acci- 
dent caused me to have a distinct perception of my own bead. 
Thinking at the same time of my head and of my brain, these 
two ideas remained associated, and the remainder of the 
dream is a logical and natural conclusion,'" 

The physioligist Abercrombio gives a very curious dream, 

831 




THE UNKNOWN 

which, like the former, was the result of preoccnpation of the 
mind. 

" One of my friends/* he says, " who was employed in one of 
the principal banks at Glasgow in the capacity of cashier, was 
at his desk, when an individual presented himself, present- 
ing a claim for the payment of the sum of six pounds (150 
francs). There were several persons before him who were 
waiting their turn ; but he was so impatient, so noisy, and, 
above all, so insupportable by reason of his stammering, that 
one of the assistants begged the cashier to pay him, in order 
to get rid of him. The latter gave him what he wanted, with 
a gesture of impatience, and without paying much attention 
to the matter. At the end of the year, which was eight or 
nine months after, the books could not be balanced, there 
was a constant error of six pounds. My friend passed several 
days and nights in a useless search for the deficit ; at last, 
overcome by fatigue, he returned home, went to bed, and 
dreamed that he was at his desk, that the man who stam- 
mered had appeared, and soon all the details of the affair 
returned to his mind with accuracy. He awoke with his 
mind full of his dream, and with the hope that he might 
find what he was looking for. Upon examining his books 
he found, in fact, that this sum had not been entered on 
the ledger, and that it exactly corresponded to the def- 
icit. ''» 

It will be seen in this dream that the sum revealed to the 
dreamer was already known to him, but that the will had for 
a long time remained powerless to awaken the remembrance 
which was buried in the depths of memory. But his pre- 
occupation had been intense, and his mind had been strained 
for a long time in one direction ; this mental effort, al- 
though at first wholly unproductive, resulted in renewed cer- 
ebral activity, a series of images were evoked and finally 
produced a clear perception of a fact which had been uselessly 
sought for during the day before. 

Some of the dreams which are apparently due to telepathy 

> Inquiries Concerning the Intellectual Powers, 1841, p. 280. 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 



are of tliia kind, and more than one apparition of tlio dead 
might be explained on this haais> 

The explanation of the greater nnmbor of dreams will bo 
found in physical influences, or in nnconacions cerebration of 
ide:is and images lying latent in the brain. It is of great 
I importance, tberoforc, that we should review this physio- 
logical action in order to judge scientifically of the facts 
which we have to analyze, Tbe results of my investigations 
I have revealed a large nnmber of dreams which can be ex- 
plained physiologically^ and which we will not reproduce 
I here. 

But external psychic forces are capable of influencing our 
[minds during sleep as well as in the waking state. We 
[ shall now take up the examination of this kind of dreams, 
I The psychic phenomena related in Chapter III. have been 
' observed by persons who were wide awake and in full posses- 
sion of their faculties. Wo have not yet considered those 
which belong to dreams, becanse they seem to be of a differ- 
ent character and to form another class. Their evidence 
seems to us less reliable^ for the number of such dreams is 
great, and the coincidences which have produced them, are 
balanced by innumerable non-coincidences. It most also be 
Baid that they are always a little vague> and subject to fluc- 
tuations of the memory. Nevertheless, I do not believe that 
it would be logical to reject them without examination. Some 
of the visions seen in dreams present a special interest for the 
observer, and may show us something more in regard to the 
faculties of the human mind, 

Now that the psychic action of one mind upon another 
rhas been proved by a preceding ciiapter, and the demonstra- 
tion is complete, we can enter the more complicated world of 
I dreams. 

One very curious case observed in a dream has been al- 
ready remarked upon (p. 225) : it is that of a young girl in 
Paris, who saw her mother dying in the provinces and call- 
ing to her for a last embrace. This dream has been classed 
by Bricrrc dc Boismont among hallucinations, but with a 
reservation showing its psychic character. A telepathic 



THE UNKNOWN 

dream of the same kind (p. 332) has also been given above. 
I will now present to my readers some extracts from letters 
which 1 have received in answer to my inquiries, from persons 
who have experienced apparitions and dying manifestations 
in dreams. They are no less probable nor less interesting 
than the first cases reported, and should, it seems to me, be 
included in the same class. 

I. " In the night of July 25, 1894, 1 saw in a dream a young 
man whom I had known formerly, from 1883 to 1885^ when 
he was serving his military term, and whom I was to have 
married. 

'^ For reasons which have no importance here I had broken 
off all relations with him, and the marriage had not taken 
place. Prom that time I had heard nothing of him (he lived 
at Pau and I in Paris), when on the night of the 25th of July 
I saw him in a dream just as I had known him, dressed in 
his uniform as sergeant-major. He regarded me with a look 
of great sadness, and showed me a packet of letters. Then 
the apparition faded away, just as the dawn disappears before 
the sun. 

"I awoke in great distress, and for a long time the dream 
remained with me, and I asked myself why, why, should it 
have come to me who never thought of him, although I had 
always felt for him a sincere regard. 

^^On the 20th of January, 1895, I learned that his death 
occurred on the night of the 25th of July, 1894, and that one 
of his last thoughts was of me. Lucie Labadie. 

"Rochefort." j^^^^^^ ^ 

II. "During the war of 1870 and 1871, one of my intimate 
friends, the wife of an officer, while shut up in Metz, dreamed 
that my father, her physician, who was in the north, and 
whom she loved and esteemed profoundly, came to the foot 
of her bed and said to her, 'Look, I have just died/ 

'* As soon as outside communication was possible, my friend 
wrote to me with tears, asking me for exact news of my 
family, and begging to know whether any misfortune had be- 
fallen my relatives on the 18th of September, since on that 

884 



THK WORLD OF DREAMS 

dny slie had had a dream in regard to mj father which op- 
pressed her very much. Alas, oo the 18th of September, at 
five o'clock in the morning, my father had died suddenly, 
without any previous illness. 

"When I saw this lady again in the following summer she 
had told me that this dream had impressed her the more 
powei^fully because a sliort time before she had had a similar 
dream concerning one of her friends who lived in Met^, and 
when she sent for news of him in the morning they had told 
her that he had Just died. L, Bouthors, 

** Director of Assess men ts at Chartres/* 
Letter 28. 



IIL (A) *'I was seven years old. My father lived in Paris* 
For several years I had been at Niort with relatives who had 
undertaken my education. One day, or rather one night, I 
had a dream. I went up an interminable staircase, and I 
reached a gloomy room. Beside it there was another, feebly 
lighted. I went into this second room, and I saw a coftin 
on two trestles ; a lighted taper stood beside it. 

*' I was afraid, and I fled. When I reached the first room 
I felt some one's hand o^ my shoolden I turned round, 
trembling with terror, and I recognized my father, whom I 
had not seen for two years, and who said to me in a very 
gentle voice : 'Do not be afraid. Embrace me, little one,"* 

"The next day we received a telegram. My poor father 
had died, not dnring the night, but on the p}*eceding eveniuf/, 

'*! was completely orphaned, for my mother had died 
some years before. This dream impressed me eo mach that 
I often dream it over again. 

(B) '* When I was tliirty years of age, the aunt who brought 
me lip, and whom I loved as a mother, died of black small- 
pox. I had not oeen told of her death, and I was, of course, 
not permitted to go into her room. She had often said to 
me in jest: ^Oh, if I die, and you are not near me, I will 
come to bid you farewell.' In the middle of the night I saw 
a white form advancing towards me, which I did not at first 
recognize. I woke np ; there was twilight in my room, and 

385 



THE UNKNOWN 

I saw the pAatitOfn rejected in a glass wardrobe placed apposite 
my bed. The phantom said to me in a scarcely audible 
Toice^ ' Farewell I' I stretched out my arms to clasp it^ bnt 
it had disappeared. 

** My poor aunt had been dead several hoars when I had 
this hallucination. Y. Bokiface^ 

** Directress of the Maternal School, ^tampes (Seine-et-Oise).*' 
Letter 85. 

V. *' My wife flaw the figure of her brother at the precise 
moment of his death. 

" My brother-in-law, who was professor in the college at 
Luxeuil, had disease of the lungs. Daring his last illness 
his sister nursed him with the greatest deyotion, and he pre- 
ferred her care to that of any one else. My wife^s relations, 
however, in coming to Laxeuil, and seeing her to be very 
mach fatigued, persuaded my brother-in-law to come with 
them and place himself at a deaconesses' establishment at 
Strasbourg. About three weeks after his departure my wife 
was awakened by a sort of nightmare, and saw, in her half- 
awakened condition, her brother lying enclosed in a stone 
coffin like the Roman tombal stones which are exhibited at 
the thermal establishment here. The coffin contracted itself 
more and more, making respiration almost impossible to her 
brother, and he, looking at her with supplicating eyes, im- 
plored her to come to his assistance and draw him out. 
Then she saw him assume a resigned air, and he seemed to 
say to her : * Everything is at an end ; you can do no more.' 
With that she awoke completely, and noted the hour. It 
was twenty minutes past three in the morning. 

"The next day we learned of my brother-in-law's death. 
The hour of his decease coincided exactly with that of the 
dream. 

" May I beg of you not to give our names. A. S. 

"Luxeuil (Haute-Sadne)." 

Letter 60. 

VI. "My grandmother died last year, on the 6th of Jan- 
uary, at two or three minutes before midnight. She lived in 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 

^e country, in the neighborhood of Roeliefort-snr-Mer, and 
was then at Auxerre. On the evening of the 0th of January 
we had celebrated Twelfth Kight very joyously, and I had 
gone to bed without thinkiug of my grandmother, although 
I knew that she had been suffering severely for a fort- 
night, 

"I woke up exactly at midnight with a most painful im- 
pression. In a dream I had just seen my mother and my 
youngest brother in deep mourn lug. I was persuaded that 
the morning would not pass without my receiving some con- 
firmation of my dream. Was there not some strange connec- 
tion between tlie dream and the reality, for my grandmother 
had died at midnight and I awoke at the same hour ? 

'VM. B. 
*' Versailles." 

Leuer M. 

VIL " My uncle was a sergeant in the Second Regiment of 
Infantry when war was declared in 1870. He fought in tlie 
first battles, was besieged in Metz, taken prisoner to May- 
ence, and thence to Torgau, where he remained nine or ten 
months. 

"On Low Sunday, 1871, one of his comrades invited him 
to go into the town in the afternoon. He preferred to re- 
main in camp in his casemate, saying to his friend that be 
was not in good spirits, but not knowing himself what this 
sadness could be attributed to. Being left alone, or almost 
alone, he threw himself entirely dressed upon his bed, and 
slept profoundly. As soon as lie was asleep it seemed to 
him that he was in his father's house, and that his mother 
was clijinif on a hed. He saw his aunts caring for his mother 
until she died, about three o'clock. Then he woke np, and 
found that it had been only a dream. 

*' When liis friend returned at six o'clock in the evening 
lie told him what he had seen during his sleep, and he added : 
'I am convinced that my mother died to-day about three 
o^clock.' 

"He was laughed at for this idea, but a letter received 
from his brother confirmed the sad news* 

887 



THE UNKNOWN 

'^I think I ought to add that the dead woman was in a 
dying state about three o'clock. Gahille Massot, 

"Apothecary of the First Class. 
*' Banyuls-sur-Mer (Pyr-Or)." 

Letter 66. 

VIII. " My mother has often related a strange dream to me. 
"One of my brothers-in-law was ill. One evening she 

dreamed that she beheld him dead ; she also saw my grand- 
mother taking away his children by a road which she did not 
know, but which crossed a large field. At this moment she 
awoke, and also roused my father, in order to acquaint him 
with the dream which had just disturbed her. It was two 
o'clock in the morning. 

*^The next day my parents received information that my 
uncle had died in the night at ten o'clock ; and then mamma 
could not help answering that she knew it. She then ques- 
tioned my grandmother as to whether she had taken away 
the children, and the latter answered in the affirmative. She 
also said that she had crossed the field exactly as mamma 
had seen her in her dream. M. ODijON, 

"Teacher, Saint-Genix-surGuiers (Savoy)." 
Letter 68. 

IX. *' One winter night, in 1895, 1 dreamed in the clearest 
manner that the Sieur Crouzier, an octogenarian, in my vil- 
lage, which was situated rather less than ten miles from the 
place where I taught, had died in consequence of the cold. 

" The next day I went home to my family, and my mother 
said to me : ' Do you know old Crouzier died last night. He 
would get up towards midnight, was overcome by the cold, 
and succumbed almost instantly.' 

" The impression caused by this has always remained with 
me, and I am glad to answer your inquiries by telling you 
this circumstance. Alphonsb Vidal, 

*' Teacher at Aramon (Gard)." 
Letter 77. 

X. " My mother, who was in France, dreamed that she 
saw her brother, who was then in America, dying in her arms. 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 

' month afterwards she received news of the death of tliis 

hrother, who had expired in the arms of my grandmother. 

The dates coincide. A. D. 

** Aries." 

Letter 118. 

XL *'I had a brother who lived at St. Petersbnrg for 
twenty-five years ; our correspondence had never been inter- 
rupted. 

** Three years ago, in the month of July, I received a let- 
ter from him. On the 8th of September following I dreamed 
that the postman brought me a letter from St, Petersburg, 
and that on opening the letter I found two pictures, one 
representing a dead person stretched npon his bed and 
dressed in what I had myself observed to be the fashion in 
my journey to Enssia in 18G7. 

** I did not at first look closely at the face of the dead man, 
I saw several persons on their knees around the bed, among 
others a boy and a little girl about the age of my brother s 
children. The other picture represented the performance of 
a funeral ceremony. I then examined more closely the face 
of the dead man, and I woke up, crying out, 'Ah, but it is 
Lucien !' which was my broth er^s name. 

" Some days later I learned tliat my brother had really 
died during the interval (I have not been able to ascertain ex- 
actly which day). The dream is always present in my mem- 
ory, and I have related it to several persons. 

''L. Carrau. 

*' 46 Bue de Bel- Air, Aogers/' 

Letter 125. 



XIL " My great-grandfather left his family, who lived 
near Strasbourg, at the age of fourteen. I believe that he 
never returned to his village, and that he never saw his rela- 
tives again. He married in Kancy when he was twenty-four, 
and his wife never saw her parents-in-law. 

'* One night my grandmother saw an interminable f aneral 
procession defile before her bod. The nest day, or the day 
after, a letter announced the decease of her father ; the f u- 



THE UNKNOWN 

neral had taken place^ the population of three large Tillages 
being present at it^ as well as the mayor and the cur6 of 
the place (Bischeim)^ although it was the funeral of a Jew. 

" JeKIiAKD. 
**55 Rue de Provence, Paris," 

Letter 130. 

XIII. ^* I have to record occurrences in two dreams, with 
the coincidence of death. 

(A) "The first happened to my father, Pierre Dutant, 
who died in 1880, having been apothecary at Bordeaux for 
fifty years. 

" He was a man of absolutely honest and scrupulous char- 
acter, with a very fine intelligence, and none of his numer- 
ous acquaintances ever doubted his word. 

" Here is the fact which he related to me many times, and 
which I tell you almost as he told it. 

" 'One night I dreamed that my brother, then a notary at 
Lengnau, and thirty-three years of age, was a child together 
with myself, and that we both played in our father's house. 
All at once he fell from a window into the street, crying to 
me, ''Adieu!'' I awoke, and being very much impressed 
with the vividness of the dream, I looked at the hour : three 
o'clock. I did not go to sleep again. I knew tlmt my 
brother was ill, but I did not believe him in danger of 
death. But my brother died that night at three o'clock 
precisely.' 

(B) " The second fact concerns me personally. One night 
I dreamed that an aged cousin, who loved me dearly, had 
died. The next morning I told it to my parents, who re- 
member very well that I did so. 

"In the same week, and two or three days after the 
dream (I have not written it down, and I cannot give the 
date exactly), this old cousin died of an apoplectic attack. 
She was very well, however, on the night of the dream, but 
she died only a few days after, and I have always regarded 
the dream as a warning or presentiment. 

(0) "I can tell you still another case, which happened to 

840 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 



myself and impressed me a great deal when it occurred, but 
as this event is coucerned with a dog, perhaps I am wroug 
to abuse your time. The only excuse I can make is that I 
do not know what are the limits of these problems. 

'^I was then a youtig girl, and I often had dreams of re- 
markable clearness. We had a little dog of unusual intelli- 
gence, and she was particularly attached to me, althoogh I 
caressed her very little. One night I dreamed that she had 
died, and that she looked at me with human eyes. On wak- 
iug np I said to my sister : * Lionne is dead ; I dreamed it, 
and I am sure of it.* My sister laughed, and would not be- 
lieve me* We rang for the maid, and told her to call the 
dog. They called her ; she did not come. They looked 
everywhere, and at last they found her, dead, in a corner. 
Now the day before she was not ill, and there had been 
nothing to provoke my dream. 

**M. R. LaCASSAONE, 1{EE DUTAifX. 

"Castres/' 

Letter 139. 

XVI. " I was a student of medicine in Paris, in 1862* One 
day my concierge, who woke mo up to go to the hospital and 
brought me my first breakfast in bed, found me in tears. 
He asked nie what was the matter, and I answered: ^I have 
just had a iiorrible nightmare \ my uncle^ who brought me 
op (for I had lost my father and mother very young), and 
whom I loved tenderly, was about to die just as I woke, and 
I am sure that I shall have news of his death by the first 
boat which arrives from Havana, my native place.' 

*'That was exactly what happened* I cannot certify you 
that it was the same hour as my dream, for I do not now re- 
member, but the coincidence of the day is exact. 

P.S.— I beg yon not to publish my name. So far as the 
experience is concerned you are at liberty to insert it if it is 
of sufficient consequence. Dr. F. db M, 



*AtL." 



Letter 15B. 



XVII. " I have a brother who from 1870 to 1874 was em- 
ployed as machinist in the arsenal atFon-Ohou in China. He 

ail 



THE UNKNOWN 

< 

had a friend^ also a machinist^ and a native of the same town 
(Brest) ; this friend was employed^ like himself^ at the arse- 
nal^ and he came one morning to see my brother at his lodg- 
ings^ and related to him what follows : ' My dear friend^ 
I am heartbroken. I dreamed last night that my child 
was dead of croup, and was lying on a red quilt.' My 
brother laughed at his credulity^ talked of nightmares^ and 
in order to dissipate this impression invited his friend to 
breakfast. Bat nothing could distract him^ for his child 
was dead. 

'* The first letter which he received from Prance after this 
occurrence was from his wife> and it announced the death of 
his child, who died of croup, with great suffering, the very 
night of his dream, and by a strange coincidence lay on a red 
quilt. 

" When he received this letter he came to my brother, in 

tears, and showed the letter to him, and from him I received 

this story. H. V. 

"Brest" 

Letter 162. 

XVIII. ** One of my cousins lived at Nyon, in Switzerland, 
and her mother at Clairveaux, in the Jura. During one 
severe winter all communication became impossible on ac- 
count of the snow. My aunt had been ill a long time ; her 
daughter, however, did not know that she was more unwell 
than usual. One night, in a dream, she saw her mother dead ; 
she awoke in terror, and said to her husband : 'My mother 
is dead ; I have just seen her !* See wished to set out at once 
for Clairveaux, but they dissuaded her, showing her the inx- 
prudence of undertaking a journey in the snow for the sake 
of a mere presentiment. The post did not come in, and they 
did not receive any letters. 

*' That same evening, or the next day, I do not know 
which, my cousin saw a horseman enter the park, and then 
she cried out : ' They are coming to tell me of the death of 
my mother/ And, in fact, not being able to communicate 
with her otherwise, they had sent a horseman to inform her 

842 



THE WOBLD OF DREAMS 

that her mother had died during the night* It occnrred at 
the moment whea my cousin had the dream, 

'VMy cousin is still living, and could give me more precise 
details if you wish for them* G. Belbenat. 

** Lons-le-Sauimer (Jura)/' 

Letter 286. 

XIX, " I have an experience, noted hy one of my friend a, 
to communicate to your investigations. It comes from a 
\ former railroad contractor, in France and elsewhere, who haa 
now retired from business and is living at Saint- Pierre -Ics- 
I Nemours. His honor and good faith are above suspicion. 
**Here is the fact as he related it to me : 
'^ ' I had gone to see a very sick friend who was a farmer ; 
at the entrance to the farm I met his mother-in-law, who told 
me that her son-in-law had already received several visits 
I which had greatly fatigued him, but nevertheless she insisted 
[that I should come in to see him for a few minutes, adding 
[that it would give him a great deal of pleasure. I then 
begged this lady to wish him a good-day for me, and to tell 
[liim I would call again on the morrow. 

' During the following night, or rather about seven o'clock 

[in the morning, w!ri!e I was asleep, just before getting up, I 

[was suddenly seized by a nightmare. I thoaghfc I saw the 

Isick man, about the size of a child, embedded in a hole in 

I the embankment of the road, a few yards from the farm, and I 

f made every effort to drag him out of this hole without success. 

^' * After a few momenta I sprang out of bed to get rid of 

this nightmare, and in the morning I learned that the death 

of the farmer had occnrred at the very hour when I had 

[the vision." 

" The distance from Saint-Pierre-l^s-Nemours to the farm 
is about six miles. 

*'The occurrence took place about a dozen years ago, 

"J, BOIREAU, 
** Apothecary, Nemours, 8eiue-et-Marue." 
Letter 208, 



XX* *^ My great-oncle, M. Henri Horst, who was professor 

843 



THE UNKNOWN 

of mnsicat Strasbourg^ saw one night ia a dreain^j^t;^ coffins 
come out of his own door ; the same night an explosion of gas 
took place in his hoase and^t;6 persons were sufEocated. 

'* Several cases of telepathic apparitions are known in onr 
family. I will inform myself in regard to their exact details, 
and commnnicate them to you as soon as I understand them. 

"Georges Hobet, 
"Scholar at the Lycee, Bouxviller, Basse- Alsace.** 
Letter 880. 

XXI. " I have never experienced what you inquire into. 
But in dreams, on the contrary, I have sometimes had cer* 
tain warnings. Among others, on the night of the assassina- 
tion of the lamented M. Garnot, I saw him dead in my dreams. 
The preceding evening I had gone to bed early. Not living in 
the town of Lyons, but at Croix-Eousse, a suburb, I had not 
heard any rumor of the events which occurred on that memo- 
rable evening. In the morning the maid entered my room 
and I said to her at once : ^ I have just dreamed that M. Gar- 
net is deadr She answered that perhaps it might be so. 'Oh 
no,' I said to her, ' my dream must be absurd, for he will pass 
under my windows at ten o'clock.' (He was accustomed, in 
fact, to pass along the boulevard.) 

" Ten minutes afterwards she returned to my room and 
said to me, with great feeling : ' Mademoiselle's dream is come 
true; the milkman has just told me that M. Garnot was 
assassinated yesterday evening.' In spite of the dream which 
I had had, it was difficult for me to believe it at the first 
moment. A. M. 

" Lyons." Letter 840. 

XXII. '* Here is a personal experience : On the night of 
the 13th of June, 1887, 1 dreamed that my mother was dead. 
The next morning on going into a restaurant I spoke of the 
fact to a colleague, and just then I received a telegram inform- 
ing me of the misfortune of which I had had a presentiment. 

"This is the fact, of which I have an exact remembrance. 

"A. Garayon, 
"Principal of the School of Croix de Fer (Nlmes)." 
Letter 358. 
844 



THE WORLD OF BKEAMS 



XXIIL "My husband's father was away from home, where 
he had left hia sick wife. He was awakened one night by his 
wife's voice, which called him distinctly three times by hia 
name ; 'Pierre I Pierre I Pierre !' Thinking that this was only 
a dream he went to sleep again. Two days later he received 

, intelligence that his wife had died tliat very night. 

I • ''Mabie Pautrel. 

[ Letter 358. 

■ XXIV, "In the night of tlie 1st and 2d of January, 1898, 
^I saw my mother, who had died two years and a half 
previously. She advanced solemnly to mj bed, kissed me on 
the forehead, and went ont without saying anything* The 
next day I received a letter annonnciog the sodden death of 
my sister on the evening of the 1st of January, at ten o'clock 
in the evening. As I did not wake np, it is impossible for me 
to know whether there was a perfect coincidence between the 
honr of my dream and that of my sister's death. 

''M, Eazous, 
'^Teaclier at Trelooa (Ha«te*Gttr)J* 
Letter aeO. 

XXV, "Madame v., who lived at Genevaj had a brother 
"who was a dentist in the canton of Vaud. This brother died 

suddenly. On the night of his death Madame V, had a 

dream in which she saw on the wall her brother^s name and 

the date of his birth, or that of his death, I do not remember 

which. When she awoke she dreaded a misfortune, which 

was realized, Jeanne Blanc. 

'*Li^ Canuct(Alp'Mar)." 

Letter 365. 

XXVI. " I was at a convent. One night wo were awakened 
by cries and sobs. The sister on watch went to the child's 
bed, and the latter told her, amid her tears, that her grand- 
mother was dead, that she had called her, and that she 
wanted to go to her. 

'* They calmed her ; we were told to pray, and the nun said a 
rosary, after which we returned to our beds and went to sleep. 

845 



THE UNKNOWN 

''Again we were aronsed. The young girl had had the 
dream over again. She told ns that her grandmother was dead^ 
that she had taken the most heart-rending leave of those 
around her, and that she had specially designated a casket in 
which she had deposited her jewels which she wished to be* 
queath to her favorite granddaughter. 

" The night came to an end. 

" The next morning at eight o'clock we were all gathered 
in class, and were on our knees for the short prayer which 
preceded our studies, when there was a violent ring at the 
bell, making us all . tremble, without knowing why, for we 
could not all of us be interested in the event, and the eldest 
sister of our companion entered. 

** She came for her young sister. The grandmother had 
died during the night, and everything the young girl had 
seen occurred just as she had related it. 

"You may imagine the excitement which this created in the 
convent. It was interpreted as an act of divine interven- 
tion, and the day was passed in prayer. J. G. 

"Paris." 

Letter 874 

XXVII. " About two years ago, at Jarnac, a lady, who is 
a friend of my family, while in a light sleep, was suddenly 
aroused at seven o'clock in the morning by a voice which 
called her very distinctly, and which she recognized as that 
of her brother-in-law, the last news from whom had been 
good. 

"No one was in her- room at the moment, nor in the 
neighboring apartments, and it was impossible to refer the 
impression to any known cause. 

"Some hours later, about ten o'clock, this lady learned 
by telegram that her brother-in-law, who lived at Auzances, 
had just died suddenly. The next day a letter informed her 
that his decease had occurred at seven o'clock — that is to 
say, at the very moment when the voice had called her. 

"Breaud. 
"Jarnac." 

Letter 877. 
846 



THE WOKLD OF DREAMS 



Ma 



XXVIIL " For fourteen years I was devoted to one par- 
tic nlar person, and tlien a separation took place, and we saw 
each other only at rare intervals. At last more than a year 
passed withont our meeting. My friend, being ill, was 
obliged to set ont for the Tyrol, We were then separated by 
a distance of fiffcy-eiglifc bonrs of railway journey. I had 
new3 of my friend indirectly. The news was comparatively 
good, and plans for his return were expected. On the %d of 
March, in the night, I saw my friend while I was half asleep. 
He was seated on a bed, in big uigbt-dress, and he said to 
me, 'Oh, how I suffer!' It was then two o'clock in the 
tg. Two days afterwards a telegram informed me of 
the death of this person, who had expired at twenty minutes 

I past two. 
I "I was, and I am still, struck by this coincidence, and it 
seemed to me of sufficient importance to your researches to 
be communicated to you. C* CouESKOX. 

*'23 8tradu> Homaua, JiLSsy (Eoumania),'* 
Letter 3»X 
XXIX. (A) ''My wife's uncle, a sea captain, has often told 
me that on the night which coincided with the death of his 
mother, which occurred while he was on a voyage, she ap- 
eared to him in a dream with a mournful face. Being much 
impressed, he made a note of the date on the head-board of 
his berth, for ho had a presentiment of misfortune. He 
was very little surprised to hear of her death when he 
landed* The date was exactly that whicbbc bad written on 
bis berth. 

(B) '' The same thing happened to my mother-iu-law upon 
the death of her brother. She dreamed the preceding night 
that she met her mother, who was dead, on the staircase of 
her house, and that although her mother addressed no word 
to her she looked at her with an air of great sadness. The 
next day her brother was found dead of apoplexy. 

(0) "An almost similar occurrence took place upon my own 
tnarriage-day. My mother-in-law bad been much affected 
by the apparition of her mother, which I have just related, 
and she said to one of her friends that if she ever saw her 

847 



M 




THE UNKNOWN 

mother again in this manner she shoald be sure that she was 
on the eye of a great misfortane. This friend, some dajrs 
before my marriage^ saw in a dream the same person, who 
told her that she did not wish to see her daughter, for fear 
of making her ill, and, therefore, she had come to see her 
instead. This same person dreamed, I believe the same 
night, that my wife's house was draped in black on the very 
day of our marriage. That is exactly what occurred, though 
we had no presentiment of it on the day before the day fixed 
for our wedding. My brother-in-law died of the rupture of 
tin aneurism, and he was buried on the day when we ehoold 
have been married. 

'<^ These are facts whose authenticity I can guarantee to 
you. L. CoiCTAKT. 

"LaCiotat." 

Letter 401. 

XXXII. " My father, at the age of sixteen, I believe, was 
being educated at the little seminary of Gu^rande. One 
night, in a dream, he saw his mother lying down, and giving 
no sign of life, in her own room at Croisic, where she lived. 
He awoke with his face bathed in tears. 

*^ The next day a letter informed him that his mother, at 
the hour at which he had thus seen her;' had had a sudden 
seizure, and had come within an ace of dying, surrounded by 
her daughters, who had been summoned by her groans. This 
occurrence is, as you see, somewhat different from the obser- 
vations which joxjk have published, since it relates to a dream 
and not to a death. But it is undoubtedly a fact of the 
psychic order, and that is why I have thought it best to ac- 
quaint you with it. Polueo,. 

"Pivermel/» 

Letter 484. 

XXXIII. '* One of your readers dreamed that she found 
herself one night in the house of one of her friends who 
had been ill for a long time with lung trouble. She was, 
however, not aware that her friend was at that moment more 
unwell than usual. The friend was in bed ; she held out her 
hand to her, said farewell, and died in her arms. The next 

848 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 

day the person of whom I speak said to her mother : ' So- 
and-so is dead ; I saw her dead last night,' During the clay 
they learned of the sick woman's death. 

"As the vision occurred during a dream, it was not pos- 
sible to certify that the hour of the death coincided with 
that of the apparition, Jeak Sueya, 

^'37 Rue Rayoouard, Paris." 

Letter 438. 

XXXIV, " I am only twenty-two years of ago, yet I have 
already experienced the phenomeua in dreams^ with the co- 
incidence of death, which you are studying. 

(A) " The first time was five years ago, I woke up laugh- 
ing, and I told my sister how I had just dreamed of Father 
So-and-so (a surly old man with whom my family had quar- 

elled), I do not now remember what were the circumstances 
^of the dream, but I was much impressed by it, 

*' The same day we learned that the old man had com- 
mitted Boicide, 

(B) ^'The second time was a year later* One of my cous- 
ins, who was a widower, lived in the same town, but I saw 
him very rarely, I dreamed that I learned of his desire to 
marry again (a fact of which I was entirely ignorant). I 
related this dream to my family the next morning, and tow- 
ards ten o'clock we met an aunt of this young man, who 

L informed us oE his unexpected death during the night, after 
Hn illness of only three days, and lamented that his untimely 
death had prevented his execiUing his project of giving a 
mother to his orphan children. 

(C) *'The third time was one year ago. I had the influ- 
enza, and several other persons in the house were ill. One 
night I dreamed that a funeral set out from our door, and 
that the coffin was of enormous size. My intuition told me 
that it was M, Durand, one of the persons who was ill, and 
who was unusually corpulent. On awakening, my first words 
were to ask news of him, and I was painfully affected on 
learning that he had died during the night. 

*' Jeankb About. 

**NaDcy/' Letter 44L 

349 



THE UNKNOWN 

^ XXXVII. " One of my friends had a dream during the 
nighty in which she saw one of her brothers^ whom she 
tenderly loved^ and whom she had not seen for a long time ; 
he was dressed in white^ he had a fresh complexion, and he 
seemed happy ; the room in which she found him was also 
hung with white, and was filled with people ; the brother 
and sister embraced each other affectionately. When her 
dream was ended, my friend awoke, and had a presentiment 
that her brother was dead. At that moment it struck midi- 
night. The next day this lady learned by letter that her 
brother had died that night, exactly at midnight. G. P. 
"Aries." 

Letter 450. 

XXXVIII. "In the month of July, 1890, I had a dream 
in which I wished to open a communicating door between 
my room and another, and I could not succeed, in spite of 
vigorous efforts ; some one then came to my assistance, and 
by using another door not far from the first, we succeeded in 
moving away the obstacle. It was the corpse of my uncle, 
stretched out upon the ground with his knees flexed. 

" I did not attach any importance to my dream, but it re- 
curred to my memory when I learned of the sudden death of 
this relative, which occurred in the country on the 10th of 
July, 1890. 

"Unfortunately, I did not note the date of this dream, but 

I think I can state positively that if it did not occur upon 

the 10th, which was Thursday, it did so during the first days 

of the same week. J. C. 

•» Lyons." 

Letter 466. 

XXXIX. "At the close of the year 1838 I was ill at 
Carthagena. On Christmas night I had a painful dream, the 
recital of which I will abridge. I was at the market-town of 
Eez6-les-Nantes, watching the 'approach of the funeral pro- 
cession of a young girl. I did not know either the name or 
the family of the deceased, but, notwithstanding, I found 
myself overpowered by a great sadness. I joined the proces- 

850 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 

Bion; in the church I occupied a place just behind the coffin, 
without regarding the persons who were near me, I was in 
tears, when I heard a voice say to me: 'Here Ilea your best 
friend/ In the cemetery there waa a terrible storm and a 
deluge of rain. I woke up^ believing that I had heard thunder. 
"Upon returning to my family, I learned that a near rela- 
tive^ who was the same age as myself (fifteen years old), and 
who had been the friend of my childhood, had died on Christ- 

E. Orieux. 
^^^^^^'' Letter 468. 



mas night. 



XL, ''My nncle was a sea-captain. He was returning to 
France after an absence of several months. One very hot 
afternoon he was in his cabin, noting some observations on 
the ship's log. He went to sleeps and dreamed that he saw 
his mother seated, and having over her knees a blood*stained 
cloth t(po7i lohiaft rested his brollier^s head. He woke up, very 
painfolly affected, and attempted to resume hia notes, bnt he 
went to sleep again and had the same dream. When he 
awoke, being impressed with the occurrence of the two 
dreams, he made a note of them in hia ship^s log-book with 
the date and the hour. 

'* The arrival of his ship was signalled at the port of Mar- 
seilles, and a friend came on board in search of him, who 
said: *I will accompany yon home.^ My imclc went to the 
owners, and meanwhile the friend caused the ship to be put 
in mourning. When my nncle quitted his owners he was 
startled at this sight, and cried: *My brother is deadT 
' Yes/ answered his friend, 'but how did you know itP Then 
my nncle related the dream which he had had at sea. His 
brother had committed suicide on the day noted in the log. 

" J. S. 
*' Muraeilles." 

Letter 476. 

XLL '*I knew some one who had a most startling experi- 
ence, due to tlie apparition of a friend whom she loved very 
much. The next day a despatch arrived announcing her 
friend's death. She received a letter later, informing her 

351 



THE UNKNOWN 

that the friend, when dying, had uttered exactly the same 

words which she had heard in her dream. 

"Jeanne Delamajn. 
"Jarnac, Cbarente." 

Letter 518. 

XLIL " Some months ago I was wamed in a dream of the 

death of one of my acquaintances, on the very night upon 

which the death occurred, without any expectation of it. 

Next morning I mentioned the dream to a friend. When 

she went home she found a telegram, telling her that the 

death had occurred during the night. H. Bardel. 

**Yverdon, Switzerland." 

Letter 515. 

XLIII. ^' I saw, in a dream, on the night of the 8th to 
the 9th of July, 1895, the apparition of my grandmother. 
The latter died on the 9th of July, at eight o^clock. I was 
seventy-five miles from the place where the death took place. 

"Allier, 
School-master at Florae, Lozdre." 
Letter 518. 

XLIV. *' Quite recently, when I was at the house of some 
acquaintances, I met a lady who had seen you in Paris. ^We 
spoke of you and of your wonderful investigations, and one of 
the persons present said to me: *0h, if you knew what 
a strange dream I had last night. . . . You remember 
Gabrielle T.?' I answered in the affirmative. *WelI, I 
dreamed that she was dead, and that I saw her lying in her 
coffin ! . . . This morning I went out to take a walk, and 
the person to whose house I went said to me, *' Do you know 
that Mile. T. is dead? I have just this minute heard of it.*' 
The strange coincidence between my dream and this news 
struck me so forcibly that I was completely overpowered, for 
I had not known Mile. T, particularly well. I was not aware 
of her illness, and I had not spoken of her for some time.' 

" This is the curious fact which I have just heard. In 
case you wish to quote it, I should be obliged if you would 
only use my initials. J. A. 

" Bourges." Letter 534. 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 

XLV* "I was very much in love with a respectable young 
girl of very good family. She felt ill. 

" One evening, towards nine o'clock^ I was half asleep, and 
I saw myself in a great hall where every one was dancing. 
My beloved one was present, dressed in white, with a face at 
once pale and sad. I approached her and asked her to dance* 
She refaaed me wnth abruptuess, Baying to me in a low tone : 
' It is impossible; we should be seen.^ 

''I woke up with a strong palpitation of the heart, and 
with my eyes full of tears. When morning came I dressed 
in baste and r ashed to the sick girFs house. In the street I 
met the servant from that bouse, who told me that she had 
died during the night. M, T. 

"Conataotmople," Lettei535. 



XLVI. "My father had an early friend, General Charpen- 
tier de Cossigny, who always showed nie a great deal of af- 
fection. As he was affected by a nervous malady, which ren- 
dered hia temper somewhat uncertain, we were never aston- 
ished if he made us sometimes three or four visits in rapid 
succession, and then remained away for mouths. In Kovem- 
ber, 1892 (when we had not seen the general for almost three 
months), I went to bed early, as I was suffering from a se- 
vere headache, I had been in bed for a long time, and I was 
beginning to go to sleep, when I heard my name prononnced, 
at first iu a low voice, and then a little louden I listeued^ 
thinking it was my father calling me; but I heard him 
sleeping in the next room, and his breathing was very even, 
like that of one who has been asleep a long time. I com- 
posed myself again, and I bad a dream. I saw the staircase 
of the house where the general lived (No. 7 Cite Veneaw). 
He appeared to me like himself, leaning on the balustrade of 
the landing-place on the first story* then he descended and 
came up to me and kissed me on the forehead. His lips 
were so cold that the contact woke me, I then saw distinct- 
ly > in the midst of my chamber, illoraed by the reflection 
from the gaa in the street, the silhouette of the general, tall 
and distinct, which then withdrew. I did not go to sleep, 
z 353 



THE UNKNOWN 

for I heard eleven o'clock strike at the Lyc§e Henri IV., and I 
counted the strokes. I could not go to sleep again, and the 
icy impression of my old friend's lips remained on my fore- 
head all night. In the morning my first words to my mother 
were : ' We shall hear news of General de Cossigny ; I saw 
him during the night.' 

** Some minutes afterwards my father found the announce- 
ment of his old comrade's death in the newspaper; it had 
happened the evening before, as the result of a fall down- 
stairs. Jean Drenilhe. 

"86 Rue des Boulangers, Paris." 

Letter 458. 

XLVII. " One night when I was asleep I saw my brother, 
who was at Algiers, suffering and dying. 

*' The impression which I experienced was so vivid that I 
woke up suddenly. It must have been about four o'clock in 
the morning. 

" My brother had not been well for about two years, but I 
did not attach any importance to this dream, knowing that 
his state of health was reasonably good, since he had sent me 
news of himself some days previously. 

" In the morning I received a telegram, informing me that 
he had died at six o'clock that morning. 

"I have never spoken of this to any one, attributing the 
fact to pure coincidence, and I should certainly not have 
spoken of it now to you if it were not that it bears witness to 
the scientific statistics which you desire. 

^'Lehembre, 
"Interpreter to the Tribunal at Sousse, Tunis." 
Letter 563. 

XLVIII. ''It was during the great war of 1870-71, my 
fiance was a soldier in the Army of the Ehine — if I do not 
mistake — and for a long time we had had no news of him. 
During the night of the 23d of August, 1870, I had a singu- 
lar dream which tormented me, but to which I did npt at- 
tach great importance. I found myself in a hospital ward, in 
the midst of which was a kind of table on which mj fiancS 

854 



THE WORLD OF BREAMS 



I 



was lying. His right arm was bare, and a severe wound could 
be seen near the right shoulder ; two physicians, a Sister of 
Charity, and myself were near him. All at once he looked 
at me with his large eyes, and said to me : * Do you still love 
me T Some days later I learned from the mother of my 
fiance that he had been mortally wounded in the right shoul- 
der at Gravelotte^ and that he had died on the 23d of August, 
1S70. A Sister of Charity who had nursed him was the first 
person to tell us of his death. The impression is still as vivid 
in my mind as though I had dreamed it only yesterday. 

"SUZANJ^E KUBLER, 

'*Teuclier» Heidelberg," 
Letter 583. 

XLIX, " In the night of the 30th of July, 1897, 1 dreamed 
that I crossed the Place des Quiuconces, where the journty- 
men carpenters work. One of them took me by the hand 
and pricked my left finger. My blood flowed in abundance, 
and I called for aid. 

*' At this moment I awoke, in a state irapoi^sible to de- 
scribe ; I rose, and my wife, very much surprised^ asked me 
what I was doing. The clock struck three. 

'* Some minutes afterwards I lay down again. I had a 
fresh dream, in which I saw a ship sailing on a canaL At the 
end of this canal a boat was lowered from the ship and went 
ashore. Some men landed, crossed a ditch^ buried something 
in the ground, and, after covering it up, withdrew. 

** When I reached my office I told my companions of the 
two dreams that I had had during the night. They were very 
much astomBhed. One of them stated that when blood was 
seen to flow in a dream it was a sign of misfortune in a 
family* 

" My eldest son was at that time a soldier in the Eleventh 
Regiment of Artillery at Saigon, and having fallen ill he was 
returning to France. 

" On the 11th of August I learned of my son's death from 
the commissary of police in my quarter. He had died in the 
Suez Canal on the 31st of July. Some time afterwards I 
received an extract from the register of deaths, according to 

a55 



THE UNKNOWN 

which my son had actually died on the 31st of July, at three 
o'clock in the morning, and had been buried at Port Said. 

" B. DuBOS, 
"Head Commissary of the Custom House, Bordeatlx." 
Letter 587. 

L. '' When I was a medical student, and was just on the 
point of completing my studies, I went to spend the Easter 
vacation, 1895, with my family. One evening (the exact 
date of which has escaped me) we went to bed as usual ; at 
supper we had been very gay, and all my relations were in 
perfect health. Towards two o'clock in the morning I had a 
painful dream ; I thought that my father was dead ; I wept 
bitterly, and accompanied him to the cemetery. This night- 
mare finished by waking me up, and I can testify that my 
pillow was wet with tears. Having no belief in dreams, and 
not being as yet initiated into questions of telepathy, I went 
to sleep again peacefully, thinking that it was only a dream. 
At seven o'clock in the meriting I was still asleep when my 
mother entered my room in order to tell me to go and see my 
father at once, for he was paralyzed. I ran to him, and I 
saw that, in fact, he could no longer move his left arm and 
leg, which were powerless. 

*' Knowing that attacks of paralysis often occur during the 
patient's sleep, and that they wake up with hemiplegia, I 
suspect that my father's cerebral hemorrhage took place 
about two o'clock in the morning, at the moment when my 
nightmare occurred ! 

" My father is still living, but he is infirm. 

^^ Is this a case of telepathy ? It may be ! I send it to 
you for what it is worth. Dr. Durand. 

" Salnt-PouFQain, Allier." 

Letter 59. 

LI. (A) " Fifteen years ago Madame T. C. gave a garden- 
party for some young ladies in a villa situated at Dombali 
DerS, on the Asiatic shore of the Sea of Marmora. Among 
other refreshments, ham-sandwiches were served. 

Five or six years after this little festival, one of the guests, 

856 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 



whoin Madame C. scarcely knew, anxl wham slie had never 
heard of siace, appeared in a dream, and begged her to give 
her a little of that ham which she had eaten at her garden- 
party. 

'* Madame T, C. related the dream to her hiisbaiid, and 
he bestowed upon it the amoout of attention which is usually 
given to dreams. But what was Monsieur C/s astonishment 
to fiud, ou reaching his office, the father of the yoong lady 
whom Madame T. C. bad seen in the dream ; this gentleman 
told him that bis daughter was dying of lung disease, and 
that she had sent to him to beg Imn to procure for her a little 
of that deUcious Mm which she bad tasted at the garden- 
party some years before ! 

*' Monsieur C. gratified the young girrs desire, and on hia 
return home told his wife what bad occurred, and the mat- 
ter was then forgotten. 

^* Some days later Madame T. C. saw this same young 
girl again in a dream, who asked for some flowers from her 
garden* When Madame T. C. awoke she told the dream to 
her husband, saying : * I am sure that Mademoiselle So- 
and-So is dead/ And, in fact, the same day. Monsieur C. 
received the notification of her death ; the you7ig girl had 
died during the night. 

(B) ** Madame T, C, in consequence of a decision given in 
a suit for divorce, set out for Egypt. Her daughter, who 
Avas fourteen years of age, was placed at a religious scho- 
lastic establishment in Constantinople. On the 18th of 
March, 1880, Madame T. C. was seated on her balcony in 
Alexandria. It was after sunset, just at the time when it 
begins to grow dark. All at once she heard the rustle of a 
silk train in the hall behind her. She turned and saw the 
shape of a young girl dressed in white, and resembling her 
daughter, who crossed the hall and vanished. 

'*Some days afterwards, a friend came to make Madame 
T, C, a visit. He was the bearer of news from Constanti* 
nople. This friend bad no sooner pronounced the name of 
her daughter than Madame T, C, stopped him, saying ; 'My 
daughter is dead j I know it ; she died on the 18th of March, 

857 



THE UNKNOWN 

towards five o'clock in the evening.' A letter gave the 
day and hour of her decease ; it was exactly that of tlis ap- 
parition. Alpouboki. 
" Constanlinople/* ^6^^^^ ^c^ 

LIII. (A) ^'On the night of the 23d of March, 1884, I 
dreamed that one of my friends played a game of chess with 
Dr. D., very informally, at my house. I noticed that she 
had on a thick black veil, and I said to her : ' If you keep 
on that veil you will lose.' ' I do it because I am dead. Look!* 
she said. She raised her crSpe veil, and I saw a death's-head 
without teeth and with hollow eye-sockets 1 ! 1 

*'It wall horrible. This friend was forty-nine years of 
age and in perfect health. She had been at my house for a 
week, and only left me on account of the Easter vacation. 
She was to return to Paris and join her son, who was at col- 
lege, and then return with him to complete her little holi- 
day at my house. The room which she had occupied had re- 
mained as she had left it, expecting her return. There was 
no reason for expecting her death, and, nevertheless, the 
very morning after this fearful dream, which I related in great 
grief to the doctor, the postman brought me a telegram thus 
worded : ' Come quickly. Marie died during the night.' 

(B) " The same thing happened in regard to the death of 
my father, who was seventy-nine years old. He left us in 
good health, and we were astonished at his activity. . . . 
During the night of the 17th of October, 1879, I dreamed 
that the moat in the garden had been changed. They had 
put flowers there, and the earth had been raised. I ap- 
proached it, I leaned over it, I looked ... I gave a cry ! 
for I perceived my son's coffin ! A telegram came the same 
morning: 'Your father died last night. . . .' And his re- 
mains are now placed in the same tomb near those of my 
beloved child. Madame H. D. 

** Rue du Ccedic, Paris." 

Letter 599. 

LV. '* One morning at nine o'clock my husband had gone 
out to attend to his business affairs, and I went to sleep 

858 



THE WORLD OF DEEAMS 

again for a. lew minutes* In the brief spacG of time that my 
sleep lasted I had a dream that affected me profoundly. I 
dreamed that I had gone out in company with my husband. 
He left me for a few moments in order to talk with some one 
in an entry, and I remained outside to wait for him. Some 
minutes after I saw him come in very pale, and holding his left 
hand pressed against his heart. I asked him anxiously what 
was the matter, and he answered me : 'Do not be frightened, 
it is nothing. As I was coming out of the gateway some 
one shot me with a revolver, by accident, I suppose ; but the 
wound is only a slight one in the band.' 

'' I woke suddenly* I sprang np, and while dressing my- 
self I related the dream to my maid. While I was speak- 
ing, a violent ring at the bell made me tremble. My bus- 
band came into my room, pale as I had seen him iu my 
dream^ and holding out his left hand, which was wrapped 
np, be said: 'Do not he alarmed; it is nothing. While I 
was walking to my office with a friend some one shot me 
with a revolver* but the ball, passing under my arm, has only 
given me a slight wound in the thumb/ Was this dream a 
vision or was it a case of telepathy? 

"Madame Kbanskoft. 

*' Constantinople." 

Letter 606. 

LVI. *'In 1866 I was in a pensionnat situated in a little 
place in the Black Forest, One morning, just as the professor 
was about to begin his lesson, a pupil presented himself before 
him and asked if be had good news of his brother (who was 
also a professor in the same pensionnat, and who bad been 
for some time on a visit with his family in Switzerland) » 

*' The professor answered that ho had had no news of him, 
and then the pupil related, in a raised voice, that he himself 
had had a terrible dream during the preceding night, and 
during his dream he had seen tlie absent professor stretched 
on the grass with a black bole in the middle of his fore- 
head. 

'^ After soothing the emotion which was naturally felt by 
all those who heard this recital, the master at once began 

350 



tarii 



THE UNKNOWN 

his lesson, and nothing farther was heard of the dream that 
day. 

*' The next day, or the day after (my memory is undecided 
as to the exact date), the professor received a letter telling 
him that his brother had died from an accident in hunting : 
his gun discharged itself while he was trying to cross a ditch^ 
and the entire load had entered his head. A. H. 

''Qeneya." Letter 611. 

LVII. *' My mother lived at Lille, and she had an uncle in 
Alsace, whom she loved very deeply. This uncle had long 
and very delicate fingers. Now, one day when my mother 
was asleep, she saw, in a dream, this long hand moving slow- 
ly above her, endeavoring to grasp some object. The next 
day my mother received news of the death of her uncle, and, 
as she afterwards learned from those who had been with him^ 
he had made all the movements seen by my mother just be- 
fore he died. A. P. 

- Rue des Plantes (Paris)." better 616. 

LVIII. " It has often happened to me to experience a 
striking coincidence between my dreams and events which 
occurred at the same time. 

" I will permit myself to give you the last of these, which 
is that most present in my thoughts, as an example. 

** All night I dreamed of a nun who had formerly been my 
teacher. 

^' I saw her very ill ; I was deeply pained at doing so, and 
I sought to relieve her, but in vain. 

** The next day I learned that the sister^ of the parish 
school were at Mirecourt in order to assist at the obsequies 
of one of their number. 

** Still under the impression of my dream, I said at once, 
'It is Sister Saint- Joseph.' 

«* And it was indeed she. 

•* Yet I had not thought of her in the days preceding my 
Urtmm ; nobody had spoken of her to me, and I had not been 
«iw«iro that she was ill. G. Colun. 

^^VUtol/' Letter 631. 

360 



THE 



OJ 



JAMS 



LIX. "It was the 13th of June, 1S94, I lived ab that 
time at Barbezieux (Cliareiite)* I had a dream in which I 
Eiiw repeatedly oue of the employes of the post and tele- 
graphic service bringing a telegram. The next day, in spite 
of my occnpations, the vision of this employ 6 with the bine 
paper in his hand never left my thoughts. 

"During seven consecutive days and nights this night- 
mare possessed me to snch an extent that on the morning of 
the 20th I was really ill. At noon, on this same day, my die- 
comfort disappeared as if by magic, and I was perfectly 
happy ; but at three o'clock in the afternoon I received news 
of the death of my father, who died of an attack of apo- 
plexy, at Castillon-snr-Dordogne, at noon^ — the hour at which 
I had suddenly found myself relieved. 

''I then saw before me the employ^ of the post, as my 
imagination had represented him, and as I had never really 
seen him* 

**I was entirely ignorant that my father was ill, and we 
were separated by a distance of about sixty miles^ 

**UiiYSSE Lacoste. 
*'Ooura Saint-LoaiB, 48, Bordeaux." 

Ltitter M9. 

LX. " I am in good health, and I have strong nerves. In 
1894, on the 20th of Aprils at half - past seven o'clock, my 
mother, Olga Nikadlevna Arbousova, died. She was fifty- 
eight years of age. The day before her death, which oc- 
curred at Easter, I had gone to see one of my friends who 
lived about fifteen versies from my property. It was the ens- 
torn to remain all night, but I, influenced by I do not know 
what presentiment, refused to do ao, and while I was retnrn- 
ing I was not in my natural state. When I got back, I saw 
my mother playing cards with a gentleman, and I was calmed. 
I went to bed. The next morning, the 20fch of April, I woke 
np, with an icy shuddering all over my body, from a terrible 
dream, and I looked at the clock; it was half-past seven in 
the morning. I had seen my mother approach my bed, em- 
brace me, and say, 'Farewell; I am dying I' These words 
had completely roused me. 



h 



THE UNKNOWN 

'*I could not go to sleep again. Ten minutes afterwards 
I saw every one running towards my house. My servant en- 
tered my room^ sayings ^ Master^ madame is dead !' 

*' According to the servant's story, my mother had risen 

at seven o'clock, had gone to her grand-daughter's room in 

order to embrace her, and had then gone back to her room 

in order to read her morning prayers ; then she knelt down 

before her icons, and expired at once of aneurism. From 

what I was told, this must have occurred at half-past seven in 

the morning — exactly the moment of my vision. 

" Alexis Abbousoff. 
"Pskoff (Russia)." 

Letter 670. 

LXI. *'In 1881 1 had left France to go to Sumatra, where 
my friends summoned me. I left behind in France my 
mother, who was in rather feeble health, though not seriously 
unwell, and a sister, twenty years of age, who was far gone in 
an incurable disease. The health of the latter required each 
year a journey to the springs at Mont Dore. At the same 
time each year I received regularly the news of their de- 
parture for that place. 

''In 1884, during the night of the 13th of August, I 
had a dream in which I received a letter from my sister, in- 
forming me that my mother had died suddenly in the Pyrenees. 

" I awoke, much affected by this dream, and I spoke of it 
to two Europeans, one of whom was living with me, and the 
other in my immediate neighborhood. The recollection of it 
pursued me ceaselessly ; it was a real possession, making me 
both desire and dread the arrival of the mail which might 
bring me tidings coinciding with this dream. At last it ar- 
rived, and I received a letter from my sister, informing me 
that the physician had sent her to Luchon, and that my 
mother had been attacked by a chill which had endangered 
her life so that it had only been saved by the energetic care of 
the doctor. On the evening of the 13th of August the latter 
had declared that if my mother lived till the next day he 
could answer for her recovery, but that he must wait until the 
next day before he felt sure. 



¥ DREAMS 

My dream was not exactly according to bis statement ; for 
it showed the death of my mother. 

** But none the less, it h remarkable : 

" (1) That the dream concerned a danger to my mother, 
and not my sister, whose health preoccupied my mind moch 
more. 

**{2) That the dream had relation to another watering- 
place from that to which they generally went, and this 
proved to be perfectly correct, 

^*(3) That although the dream was incorrect as regarded 
the actual death, the imminence of death was plainly 
demonstrated, and the dream coincided with this threatened 
danger, as I have been able to verify by dates, which I ob- 
tained from my sister in order to establish the coincidence, 

**Is it not also remarkable that a dream can preoccupy 
the mind to such a point that it is still present in my 
memory after the lapse of fifteeu years? I make this nar- 
ration to you without the aid of any notes, and I think that 
I shall remember it all my life, so ineffaceable is the impres- 
eion which it has made upon me. Every one agrees that it 
does not belong to the usual order of dreams. 

"J. Bouchard. 

" Macara Eaitn, Palembang (Sumatra)/' 
Letter 678. 

LXIL "On the 16th of June, 1870, I was sleeping pro- 
foundly when some one waked me by touching me on the 
back. I opened my eyes and saw my aister, who was fifteen 
years of age, seated on my bed. ' Farewell, Nadia,* she said 
to me. Then she vanished. 

*^The same day I learned that she was dead, and that she 

died at the very hour when I had this awakening and this 

vision— five o'clock. H. N. Ubanekko. 

"Moscow.*' 

Letter 8^2. 



Here are a series of dreams relating to dying manifesta- 
tions, which are entitled, it seems to ns, to be classed in the 
same category as the cases of telepathy which were the snb- 

86a 



THE UNKNOWN 

ject of Chapter III. They show a psychic action of the dying 
person on the mind of the sleeper^ or, at any rate, psychic 
currents between human beings; but I have thought it 
proper to give them a second place only, because what is 
dreamed is less reliable than what is seen in the normal state; 
and as dreams are innumerable, and often due to preoccupa- 
tions, cases of fortuitous coincidence cannot be eliminated 
by the calculations of probabilities, as can be done with facts 
/Observed in the waking state with the full use of reason. 

Nevertheless, a large number of these dreams ought to be 
accepted as positive evidence of a relation of cause and effect 
between the mind of the dying person and that of the per- 
cipient. The exactitude of detail is clearly established, 
notably in cases VIII., IX., XI., XVII., XX., XXVI., 
XL VIII., LVI. At the very time that I review these pages, 
the following narrative has been sent me by M. Daniel. Bey- 
lard, architect, a distinguished student in the £cole des 
Beaux Arts, and son of the well-known sculptor. The tele- 
pathic impression in this case was not received during sleep, 
but in a mental condition which presents a certain analogy 
with sleep — namely the childish condition often observed in 
extreme old age : 

LXIII. " My two grandmothers lived together at Bordeaux 
for a number of years. One of them was eighty-four years 
old ;. the other, my paternal grandmother, was eighty-seven. 
The latter had not had the use of her intellectual faculties 
for some time ; for two years her memory had been lost to 
such an extent that she no longer remembered the most ordi- 
nary things, and she no longer recognized any one. 

*' On the 10th of last October my grandmother passed the 
morning in her chamber, according to her custom. The ser- 
vant who took charge of her saw that she was occupied in 
cutting card -board and arranging her hair. Satisfied with 
her tranquillity, she left her alone until the hour for breakfast. 
When my grandmother was placed at table, it was observed 
tl\at she had fastened a photograph to the hair at the back of 
her head by means of a piece of thread and some pins ; it was 
the portrait, in album size, of her only nephew, who lived in 

864 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 

Madrid. Every one laughed afc it at first, and tlien they wished 
to take it away from hen She opposed this, and resistied ; 
when they attenipted to employ force she began to cry, and 
they then let her alone, 

**At four o'clock in the afternoon of the same day we re- 
ceived a telegram from Madrid, informing ns of the death of 
this nephew, who had died that same morning. This news 
surprised us, and all tiie more because no one at Bordeaux 
knew that he was ill. 

"I should add that my grandmother had brought np this 
nephew from the age of five, and that they had a profound 
affection for each other. 

'^Here, dear master, are the facts which occurred in my 
presence, and to which my maternal grandmother, my par- 
ents, and the servant can certify. Daitiel Beylard* 

*' Rue Denfert-Rochcreati, 77, Paris." 
Letter 845. 

I asked the narrator of this very interesting case of tele- 
pathy to ask the witnesses to be kind enough to certify to it,, 
and also to sign it, and they hastened to do so. 

Although these testimonies are as numerous as they are un- 
deniable, we will add a few more to them* There must be no 
room for doubt. 

Marshal Serrano died in 18f)^, His wife has written the 
following account of a curious incident relating to his death :< 

LXIV. "For twelve long months a disease, which must,, 
alas ! have been very grave, slowly destroyed my husband's 
life. Being aware that the end was approaching rapidly, my 
husband's nephew* General Lopez Dominguez, went to the 
president of the Ministerial Council, Setlor Canovas, in order 
to obtain permission for Serrano to be buried, like the other 
marshals, in a church. 

*'The king, who was then at Prado, refused (reneral Lope^ 
Dominguez's request. He added, however, that he would 
prolong his stay in the royal domain, so that his presence at 
Madrid should not prevent the marshaFs receivings the ndli- 

865 



THE UNKNOWN 

tary honors due to his rank and to the high position which 
he occnpied in the army. 

" The marshal's sufferings increased every day ; he conld 
no longer lie down, and remained all the time in an arm- 
chair. One morning at dawn he suddenly raised himself 
straight and erect, although he had been in a state of com- 
plete exhaustion from the use of morphine, and so complete- 
ly paralyzed that he could not make any movement without 
the assistance of several of his aides. In a voice more sonor- 
ous than he had ever had in his life, he cried into the silence 
of the night : 

'^ ' Quick, let an officer of ordinance mount and hasten to 
Prado ; the king is dead V 

'' He fell back fainting into his chair. We attributed the 
whole thing to delirium, and we hastened to give him a sedative- 

^' He dozed, but some minutes after he rose up once more. 
In a feeble and almost extinct voice he said : 

" * My uniform, my sword ; the king is dead !* 

^' This was his last conscious act. After having received 
the last sacraments and the benediction of the Pope, he ex- 
pired. Alphonso XII. died without these consolations. 

"This sudden vision of the death of the king seen by the 
dying man was true. The next day all Madrid learned with 
stupefaction of the king^s death, which occurred when he was 
almost alone at Prado. 

" The royal remains were carried to Madrid. By reason 
of this, Serrano could not receive the honors that had been 
promised him. 

" It is well known that when the king is at the palace at 
Madrid no honors can be paid except to him ; even if he is 
dead his corpse receives them. 

" Did the king himself appear to Serrano ? Prado is at a 
considerable distance ; every one was asleep at Madrid ; no 
one except my husband knew of anything that was happen- 
ing. How did he receive the intelligence ? 

" This is a subject for thought. 

** COMTESSE DE SeRRANO, 

*• Duchess de la Torre." 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 

M* G. J, Romanes, member of tlie Royal Society of Lon- 
flon, has communicated the following experience which was 
related to him by one of his friends : 

LXV. *' During the night of the 26th of October, 1872, I 
felt suddenly very tincomiortable^ and I went to bed at half* 
past nine, about an hour earlier than nsoal ; I wont to sleep 
almost immediately. I had then a very intense dream, which 
made a great impression upon me, so much so tliat I spoke 
to my wife about it when I awoke. I feai^d that it presaged 
some misfortune* 

*• I imagined that I was seated in the drawing-room near a 
table, about to read, when an old lady suddenly appeared 
seated on the other side, very near the table. She did not 
speak nor move, but she looked at me fixedly, and I looked 
at her in the same way for at least twenty minutes. I was 
very much struck with her appearance ; she had white hair, 
with very black eyebrows, and a penetrating expression. I 
did not recognize her all at once, and I thought she was a 
stranger. My attention was attracted in the direction of the 
door, which opened, and (still in my dream) my aunt en- 
tered. Upon seeiug this old lady she cried out with great 
surprise, and in a tone of reproach, ^John, do you not 
know who that is ?' and without leaving me time to answer 
she added, *It is your graudmotlier/ 

'* Thereupon the spirit, which had come to visit me, rose 
from her chair and vanished. At that moment I awoke. 
The impression made upon me by this strange dream was so 
strong that I took my note-book and wrote it down, being 
persuaded that it was a forecast of bad news. Some days 
passed, however, without bringing it. One evening I received 
a letter from my father, telling mc of the sudden death of 
my grandmother, which had taken place on fhe veiy night of 
my dream and at the same hour — half-past ten." ^ 

Dr. Oscar Giacchi has published the three following cases 
in the jhmales des scieyices psi/chiqites (1895, p, 302): 
LXVL " 1st Case (personal). In 1853 I was a student at 



' BaUucinaiiom tekpathiquest p. 320, 
S67 



THE UNKNOWN 

Pisa. I was eighteen years old. Everything smiled upon 
me, and I was not troubled by any cares for the future. 

"One night, the 19th of April (I cannot say certainly 
whether it was in* a dream or in a half-awake condition)^ I 
saw my father stretched on his bed, pale and livid, and he 
said to me in a half-extinguished voice : ^ My son, give me 
your last kiss, for I am going soon to leave you forever.' I 
felt the icy contact of his lips on my mouth, and I recall this 
sad episode so vividly that I could say with the divine poet : 
* Che la memoria il sangue ancor mi scipa/ 

" During the past few days I had received excellent news 
of my father, and for that reason I did not attach any impor- 
tance to this phantom of my mind ; but a terrible anxiety 
took possession of me, and increased with so much persist- 
ence that the following night, resisting the reasonings and 
prayers of my friends, I took the road for Florence, as much 
depressed as a criminal who is conducted to the gallows. My 
anguish was realized, for hardly had I reached the threshold 
of the house before my mother, running to meet me, told me 
with despair, in the midst of tears and kisses, that my father 
had been carried off by a sudden heart attack the preceding 
night at the very hour of my vision. 

"2d Case (in my practice). I have had here in my insane 
asylum, for more than three years, an old woman affected 
with senile delirium, who had, however, long intervals of 
tranquillity, during which she was intelligent and tranquil, so 
that it was possible to believe her statements. She was a 
poor widow who, when she had been at liberty, was generous- 
ly aided by the cure of Saint Jean de Racconigi, who took pity 
on her poverty. On the night of the 17th of November, 1892, 
this woman, who usually (when she was without excitement) 
slept an uninterrupted sleep, at midnight began to cry out, 
to give way to despair, and to alarm the entire dormitory, 
not excepting the Sisters of the quiet division. She assured 
the nuns who wished to calm her that she had seen the prior 
fall to the ground, foaming blood at the mouth, and die in 
a few moments. This nocturnal episode was mentioned by 
the doctor on duty, in his report, and at the same time the 

368 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 

sad news was circulated all through the country that the 
curS of Saint Jean had really dictl of a fulminating apoplexy 
at the very hour when the old woman had the nightmare. 

''3d Case (the same)* A man named Q. C , from Gol- 

taaecca, in the commoue of Monesiglio, had been received into 
the sanitarium about two months before. His condition was 
improved I and everything promised a cure with the prompti- 
tude which is seen in menta! diseases without hereditary ele- 
ments nor degenerative changes. His physical health was 
perfect, although he had the signs of atheroma of the arte- 
ries. But in the night of the 14th of September, 1892, he was 
seized with a cerebral hemorrhage, which carried him off 
the next day. On the l(Jth I received a postal-card from his 
wife* who until then bad kept silence, in which she asked with 
great anxiety for news of her husband, begging me to answer 
at once, because she dreaded some misfortune. 

" Such a coincidence of events and dates could not pass 
unnoticed, nor could I feel indifferent in regard to it, I then 
wrote at once to the eminent Dr. Dhiavarino, the physician who 
attended this family, begging him to investigate into the rea- 
son of this woman's writing to me in such an alarming manner. 
The doctor replied that he had made the necessary investiga- 
tions and had collected the following details : • In the night of 
the 14th, exactly at the hour when C- was struck with apo- 
plexy, his wife (who has a peculiarly nervous temperament, and 
who was then about seven months encienie) experienced a moral 
discomfort all through the evening, and then woke op sud- 
denly in despair as to her husband's fate : so great was 
the emotion she experienced that she was obliged to wake np 
her father in order to tell him her sad presentiment, and to 
conjure him to accompany her to Racconigi, being persuaded 
that some misfortune had occurred. 

'^ These three cases seem to me worthy of consideration. 
To attribute them solely to a fortuitous coincidence seems to 
me a despicable scepticism* and it would be, in my opinion, 
a false pride to persist in denying the action of a biological 
law because we are ignorant of the law itself, as, unfortunate- 
ly, we are ignorant of so many other mysteries of psychology* 

m 



THE UNKNOWN 

'^ The hypothesis of a mysterious transmission from the 
brain of one who suffers, or who is in great danger, to the 
brain of some one beloved, is sednctive, for in a moment of 
supreme peril or terrible danger thought may be able to 
overcome danger. In my second case, however, and also in 
the third, this theory cannot be admitted, for the reason that 

neither the prior of Saint Jean, nor G. C , struck down on 

a sudden as they both were with apoplexy, could have had 
the strength to .think of absent loved ones ; and, moreover, 
the old woman could not have been beloved by the curi to 
such an extent that he addressed to her the supreme invoca- 
tion of the dying." 

I will note here, in connection with this kind of dream, one 
very remarkable case, observed by Mr. Frederic Wingfield, 
at Belle-Isle-en-Terre (C6tes du Nord), already published in 
Les Hallucinations telepathique (p. 101)* 

LXIX. " What I am about to write is the exact account 
of what happened, and I may remark in this connection that 
I am very little disposed towards belief in the supernatural, 
indeed, quite the contrary, for I have been accused, with 
justice of an exaggerated scepticism in regard to things 
which I cannot explain. 

"On the night of Thursday, the 25th of March, 1880, 
I went to bed after having read until very late, according 
to my usual custom. I dreamed that I was lying on my sofa 
and that I was reading, when, raising my eyes, I distinctly 
saw my brother Eichard Wingfield-Baker, seated on a chair 
before me. I dreamed that I spoke to him, but he simply 
bowed his head in answer, and then he rose and left the 
room. When I awoke, I found that 1 was standing upright, 
one foot placed on the ground near my bed and the other one 
on my bed, and that I tried to speak and to pronounce my 
brother's name. The impression that he was really present 
was so strong, and all the scene that I had dreamed was so 
vivid, that I left the bedroom to look for my brother in the 
drawing-room. I examined the chair where I had seen him 
seated ; I came back to my bed, and I tried to go to sleep, be- 
cause I hoped that the apparition would appear again, but 

370 



THE WORLD OF DREAMS 

my mmd was too much excited. I must, liowevei% liave gone 
to deep towards morning. When I awoke, the impression of 
my dream was still yivid, and I should add that it has always 
remained so in my mind* The sentiment of impending mis- 
fortnne winch I felt was so strong that I made a note of the 
* apparition* in my daily jonrnal, adding to it the words: 
*May God forbid.* 

" Three diiys afterwards I received news that my brother 
Richard Wingfield-Baker had died on Thursday evening, the 
25 th of March, 1880, at half-past eight o'clock, in conse* 
quence of terrible injuries which he had received in an acci- 
dent while hunting." 

Mr. Wingfieki sent with this letter his private note-book, 
in whichj amid a large nomber of bnsiness notes, the follow- 
ing statement is made : ^' Apparition on the night of Thnrsday, 
the 25th of March, 1880, R. B.W- B. May God forbid/*' 

The following letter was added to this note. 



" CoAT-AK-NOs, 3d of February, 1884. 
*^My Deae Friend, No effort of memory is required in 
order to recall to me the fact of which you speak; I have pre- 
served the clearest and most accnrate remembrance of it. I 
remember perfectly that on Sonday, the 4th of April, 1880, 
I went to breakfast with you, having arrived in Paris that 
same morning with the intention of spending several days 
there. I remember very well tliat I found yon much affected 
by the sad news which you had just received of the death of 
one of your brothers. I also recollect, as if it had liappened 
yesterday, iiow mucli I was atrnek by the fact that some days 
before receiving the sad news, after yon had gone to bed one 
evening, you saw, or thought you saw, in any case most dis- 
tinctly, the brother whose sudden death yon had just heard 
of, very near your bed, and in your conviction that it was he, 
you had risen and had addressed some words to him, and that 
moment you ceased to see him, as if he had vanished like a 
ghost. I remember, that acting under the impression, which 
was the natural consequence of this event, yon wrote it down 
in a little memorandum-book, where you were in the habit of 

871 



THE UNKNOWN 

noting striking occurrences in your peaceful life^ and I also 
remember that you showed me the note-book. 

^' I was the less surprised at what you told me then^ and I haye 
preserved a remembrance of it the more distinct, because^ as I 
told you in the beginning, similar experiences, in which I en- 
tirely believe, have occurred in my own family. 

"I am convinced that such events occur much more fre- 
quently than is generally supposed. But one does not al- 
ways wish to speak of them, because one is apt to despise 
one*s self, or to be despised by others. 

^^Au revoivy dear friend. We shall soon meet, I hope. 
Be assured of the sincere good wishes of 
*' Yours very devotedly, 

" Faucigny, Prince de Lucinge.'' 

Mr. Wingfield adds, in answer to some questions : 

"I have never had any other alarming dream of this kind, 
nor indeed any other dream of any kind in which I awoke 
with such an impression of reality and uneasiness, and with 
an effect so enduring after my awakening. I have never had 
any hallucinations.^' 

It should be noted that this dream did not take place un- 
til some hours after death. 

Documents of this kind are so numerous that it is diflS- 
cult to cease quoting them. We cannot refrain from men- 
tioning one more dream, not less remarkable, which has been 
recently published, with all the documents, affording a 
guarantee of absolute veracity, in the excellent special re- 
view, Annates des sciences psychique, by Dr. Darieux : 

LXX. "In the first days of November, 1869, I set out 
from Perpignan, my native town, in order to continue my 
studies in pharmacy at Montpellier. My family at this time 
was composed of my mother and my four sisters. I left 
them very happy and in perfect health. 

"On the 22d of the same month my sister Helen, a fine 
girl, eighteen years of age, who was my youngest and favor- 
ite sister, entertained some of her young friends at my 
mother's house. Towards three o'clock in the afternoon 

373 



IV^ORLD OF DREAMS 



they went towards tlie Promenade des Plantaees in company 
with 0iy mother. The weather was very fine. At the end 
of half itn hour my sister was seized with a sudden illuess. 
' Mother/ she said, ' I feel a strange shnddering over all my 
body. I am cold, and my throat hnrts me* Let ns go home/ 

" Twelve hours afterwards mj beloved sister expired in my 
mother's arms, struggling for breath. She succumbed to 
diphtheria, which two doctors were powerless to cure. 

'* My family sent me telegram after telegram to Montpei- 
lier, for I was the only man to represent them at the funeral* 
By a terrible fatalityj which I lament to this day, none of 
them reached me in time. 

*'But during the night of the 23d, eighteen hours after 
the poor chikrs death, I became the victim of a fearful hal- 
lucination. 

''I had reached home at two o'clock in the morning, with 
my mind at ease, and full of the pleasure which I had en- 
joyed during the 22d and the 23d, both of which days had 
been spent on a pleasure party, I went to bed in a very gay 
hnmor, and five minutes afterwards I was asleep. 

"ToTvards four o clock in the morning I saw my sister ap- 
pear before mo, pale, sobbing, lifeless, and a piercing cry, sad, 
and repeating itself, struck on my ear : * What are you doing, 
my Louis ? Come ! come P 

" In my ncrvons and agitated sleep, I thought I took a car- 
riage; but, alasl in spite of superhuman efforts I could not 
induce it to proceed. 

*^ And I saw my sister always before me, pale, sobbing, life- 
less, and the same piercing, sad, constantly repeated cry 
struck ou my ear: 'What are you doing, my Louis. Gome! 
come V 

** I woke op suddenly, with my face flushed, my head burn- 
ing, my throat dry, my respiration short and hurried, while 
my body was bathed in sweat. 

" I sprang out of bed, trying to compose myself. An hour 
afterwards I went back to bed, but I con Id not rest again, 

" At eleven o'clock in the morning I arrived at the pe7ision, 
a prey to irresistible sadness. When I was interrogated by 

373 



THE UNKNOWN 

my companions, I related to them the cruel experience which 
I had jast passed through. They expended some jests upon 
it. At two o'clock I went to the college, hoping to find some 
relief in study. 

"Upon coming out of class at four o'clock I saw a woman 
in deep mourning, adyancing towards me. Two paces from 
me she raised her veil. I recognized my eldest sister, who, 
uneasy in regard to me, came to find out what had become 
of me, in spite of her extreme grief. 

" She informed me of the fatal occurrence, which nothing 
could have warned me of, since I had received excellent news 
of the healthof my family on the morning of the 22d of Novem- 
ber. 

^^ Such is the narrative, which I affirm to you, on my honor, 
is absolutely true. I do not express any opinion, I confine 
myself to the relation of it. 

"Twenty years have passed since then, yet the impression 
is still very profound — at the present moment especially — 
and if the features of my Helen do not still appear to me with 
the same distinctness, I always hear that same sad, repeated, 
despairing appeal : * What are you doing, my Louis ? Come ! 
comer Louis Noell. 

** Apothecary at Cette." 

This story is accompanied by documents intended to con- 
firm its authenticity. We will cite from these documents 
the following letter from the observer's sister. 

" My brother has begged me, at your request, to send you 
an account of the interview which I had with him at Mont- 
pellier, after the death of my sister Helen. According to 
your desire, and his, I bring you my testimony, in spite of 
the painfulness of my recollections. 

** My brother recognized me at once in the street, in spite of 
my mourning dress, and as soon as I saw him I understood that 
he was still in ignorance of Helen's death. * What misfortune 
has befallen us ?' he cried. When he learned of Helen's death 
from my lips, he pressed me in his arms with violence, so that 
I nearly fell when he released me. When we reentered the 

374 



THE WORLD OF BREAMS 

hoase I had to nndergo a terrible scene. My brother, who 
h very nervous and very excitable^ but also very kind -hearted, 
was nearly insane witli rage, and he almost ill-treated me. 
* What a fatality!' said ho ; ' what a misfortune! Oh, the tele- 
gramsj why have I not received them ?* and he struck vio- 
lently on the table with both hand&* He swallowed three 
large carafes of water one after the other. At one time I 
thought that he was mad, for his glance was so wild, 

''Some hoars afterwards, when he had recovered himself, 
he said ; * Oh, I was sure of it, a great misfortune was going 
to befall me/ He then told me of the hallucination which 
he had experienced daring the night of the 23rd and 24th. 

" Thee£se Koell." 



This dream, like the preceding one, was experienced after the 
death of the subject who occasioned it. We will not analyze 
here the immediate causes of these sensations, for we shall 
have to distinguish later on between manifestations of the 
dead and those of the dying, as well as of the living; what 
we wish to lay stress npon here is the dream itself, whatever 
may be the nature of the psychic action involved. Several ex- 
planations can be suggested. Was the mind of the brother 
transported to the sister, and did he find her dead ? Or did 
the sister, on the contrary, seek the brother, and did it re- 
quire eighteen hours for the appeal to aronse a sensation ? 
Was there simply a natural psychic current existing between 
the brother and sister ? These are questions for investiga- 
tion. We are entering npon a new world which is — ? ? ? 

But, in reading of dreams, we see and we feel that the 
force which is in action does not always proceed from the 
dying person to the percipient, bnfc, on the contrary, it is 
sometimes from the dreamer to the dying person, and thus 
i^esembles vision at a distance. 

This is the impression given by cases VIIL (where the 
grandmother led the children across a field), XL (where a 
brother died at St. Petersburg with his children on their 
knees beside his bed), XII, (the long funeral procession), 
XV. (the death of the dog), XVIL (the child dying on the 

375 



THE UNKNOWN 

red quilt), XX. (five coffins), XXL (the death of Camot), 
XXXIX. (the funeral of the young girl at Nantes seen at 
Carthagenia), XLVI. (General de Cossigny falling down- 
stairs), XLVIII. (the wound in the right shoulder), LV. (a 
revolver-shot received in the hand), LVI. (the pupil seeing 
the brother of the professor killed by a bullet wound in his 
head), LXIV. (Marshal Serrano announcing the death of the 
king), LXVII. (the old woman seeing the death of her curi), 
etc. It would seem that in these instances the mind of the 
dreamer had seen, perceived, felt, with perfect truth the 
things which were passing at a distance. 

The establishment of sight at a distance, in dreams, will 
be the object of our next chapter. 

But we consider the 70 cases just reported as absolutely 
conclusive, and we also regard them as confirming, from an- 
other point of view, the 186 dying manifestations detailed 
above. For ourselves, psychic manifestations are certain and 
incontestable. They must henceforward constitute a new 
branch of science. 



CHAPTER YIII 



DISTAJTT SIGHT IK DBEAMS, — ACTUAL PACTS 



It would seem from tlie examples already reported that 
in certain dreams the dreamer seeB really wliat is happening 
at a distance. We will here continue our investigation by 
other special cases, observed and related with great care, 
that are not connected with manifestations from the dying, 
which we now consider sufficiently demonstrated. 

What is more, in these examples of sight at a distance in 
dreams, we will only speak of things present—things actually 
seen — reserving, in our methodical classification, what we 
have to say of divination of the future for another chapter, 
which will be the last In this volume* We will also postpone 
what we propose to say of things seen in the future by per- 
sona wide awake, as well as any analysis of /?re5tf/?itm<?/iY5. 
These divisions are absolutely indispensable, if we would 
make our way in these researches, that they may teach ns 
to admit only what is told us upon good authority ; and, 
lastly, they will lead to explanations, if explanations be 
possible. 

These questions have for many years been the object of my 
studies. I published the following dream in the VoUitire of 
February 18^ 1889. It had been sent to me by my friend, P. 
Conil, our sympathetic colleague in the Parisian press : 

L "In 1844 I was in my seventh year's course of study at 
the Lyc<Se Saint Louis* At this time one of my uncles, Joseph 
Conil, Juge d'lnstruction at the lie Bourbon (now called 
Reunion), had come to Paris to consult the medical authori- 
ties of that day about a growth upon his neck, which had first 
begun behind his right ear, but which had spread by degrees 

377 



THE UNKNOWN 

till it had gained his whole cheeky and was threatening to get 
possession of his head. 

" He would have liked them to perform an operation^ but 
Valpeau opposed it, and said to my father : ' Without an 
operation he may live a year, or not more than a fortnight, 
but if we perform an operation he will surely die under our 
hands.' 

"This opinion was not made known to my poor uncle; 
every day new pretexts were invented to postpone the opera- 
tion. 

'* One Sunday, when I was allowed to go out, I found him 
more affectionate than ever, and when I had to go back to* the 
Lycee he said, * Kiss me, for I shall never see you again.' 

" I of course protested against these words. I kissed him 
affectionately, for I sincerely loved him, and went back to 
school, where I resumed my amusements and my studies. 

" In the night of Thursday or Friday of this same week I 
was sleeping soundly when a dream transported me to Courbe- 
voie (my father and my step-mother passed the summer there, 
and there they had taken my uncle). 

'* In the great chamber au premier , looking on the garden, 
lying on his bed, draped with red curtains, my uncle was care- 
fully nursed by my father and my step-mother, who was al- 
ways sitting beside his bed, silently praying. There was also 
a good old Breton nurse, Louise by name, who had been 
many years in our service. 

" My uncle spoke to the persons present by turns. To my 
father and my step-mother he addressed some advice concern- 
ing my sister and me, and I heard his words very distinctly in 
my dream. I could repeat them now, for this vision made 
such an impression on my mind and on my memory that it 
seems as if it took place yesterday. But what he said would 
be of no interest to your readers. 

"To Louise he gave his purse. ^Take it,' he said ; ^you 
have nursed me like a Sister of Charity.' And I still seem to 
hear the sobs of this devoted woman. 

" Then there was a silence, broken by Louise : 

" *M. Joseph, for three months you have not been able to 

878 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 

open your right eye. I have here a medal of the Virgin of 
Auray ; put it on your eye and it will open/ 

'^ My uncle smiled ; he put the medal on bis eyelids, which 
opened at once and remained open some minutes. 

** My uncle was a good Catholic. * I shall not live through 
the night/ he said. ^ Louise, bring me a priest.' Louise went 
at once. My father and step-mother took each a hand of the 
sick man, who continued to converse with them, and I heard 
everything they said. 

" The priest arrived. They left him alone with the dying 
man. I was present when he made his last confession, but of 
that I did not hear one word. 

'^ The priest went out. My parents and Louise came back. 
Soon the last struggle began, and I saw all its heart-breaking 
details. . . . My beloved uncle gave a long sigh. Then he 
was dead. 

'^ When I awoke the college clock was striking. It was 2 
A.M. My eyes were full of tears. 

" ^ We must always take dreams by the contrary,* I said to 
myself. * I have dreamed my uncle was dead, and of course 
he is better.* . 

"On Sunday morning I had a visit from a friend of the 
family, M. Vigneau, the father of Henri Vigneau, the author 
of '' Orfa/* he came to take me home and to tell me the sad 
news. When I reached Courbevoie my father repeated to 
me the last advice of my uncle about me . . . and this was 
precisely the advice that I had heard. Very much impressed, 
I said to my father, 'And did not my uncle also say so and 
so?* 

"'Yes.* 

" ' Were not his last moments like this ?* And I told all 
that I had seen and heard. All was perfectly exact. 

" ' But how could you know all this ?* asked my papa. 

" ' Papa, I dreamt it. But tell me what time did my uncle 
die?* 

" ' At two o'clock, precisely.* 

" * I knew it,* I replied. * That was the very time when I 
awoke.*** 

879 



THE UNKNOWN 

Unconscious cerebration will no more explain dreams of 
this kind than those related in the last chapter. 

It seems in this case as if the spirit of the writer had been 
transported^ had seen what was passing in the chamber of his 
dying uncle. In another dream M. Gonil saw Havre before 
he had ever been there^ and perfectly recognized its quais eoii 
streets when he afterwards visited the town for the first 
time. 

Here are some other instances of the same kind^ copied from 
the collection evoked by my inquiry. 

II. " First, several times during my thirty - eight years' 
ministry I have felt myself instinctively impelled to go to the 
bedside of persons whom I did not know were sick^ bnt whom 
I found to be dying. If I did not fear to weary yon, seeing 
the great number of letters you must receive, I would relate 
them to you. One must suffice. 

"One night, or, rather, at one in the morning, I woke up sud- 
denly, for I saw lying in his bed one of my parishioners, who 
seemed dying and who was calling for me loudly. In five 
minutes I was dressed, and with a little lantern in my hand 
was running towards the house of the sick man. On my way 
I met a messenger coming full speed to find me. 

" I reached the dying man, who had just lost conscionsness 
from a stroke of apoplexy. I had only time to repeat the 
words of absolution when he expired. 

"Now this man, robust and strong, had gone to bed at nine 
o'clock in excellent condition. Bouik, 

"Honorary Canon, Cure of Couze, Dordogne." 
Letter 4. 

III. " I had three very good friends who were farmers at 
Chevennes. I had not seen them for some time. One night 
I had a horrible nightmare. I saw their farm-house on fire. 
I made superhuman efforts to run and call for help, but I 
could not stir. I could utter no word, my feet seemed glued 
to the ground. I saw several other buildings catch fire, and 
at last, just as the whole was falling in,I made a tremendous 
effort to free myself, and I woke up, with my throat dry and 

880 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 

my legs cramped. I jumped out of bed. My wife woke np, 
I told her my dream. She laughed heartily at seeing me so 
coucerned at it, 

"In the course of the next day I received au express telling 
me that part of the farm-house had been destroyed by fire. 

'' Georges Parent, 
■^ Mayor at Wi^ge-Pnty (Aisne)/* 
Leiter 20. 



IV. '^My father Palmero, a colonial engineer, belonging 
to the Fonts et Chaussees, and a native of Toulon, after having 
passed twenty years at the island of Reunion, where he mar- 
ried and had five children^ returned to France on half -pay in 
1867, and settled at Toulon, My mother, who had been bom 
at Reunion of one of the best families in the place^ could not 
leave her native island without keen regret, especially as she 
left behind her father and mother, whose means had been 
greatly impaired by a reverse of fortune. 

*'In the first years passed in France, where everything was 
strange to my mother, she was so unhappy that my father, a 
man of the utmost kindness, took a secret resolve to ask her 
father and mother to come and live with ns, 

" He was careful not to let his wife know this, for not- 
withstanding her great love for her own parents, she would 
have opposed a plau which would have been so costly, and in 
the end might have been so injnrions to the interests of the 
family if seven persons had to be supported on the half-pay 
of my father. 

"My mother, therefore, was for several reasons kept in ig- 
norance of this step of my father's, and had it been told her 
she would not have believed it. My grandfather and grand- 
mother, at a very advanced age, lived at R£ninion, among 
their mother children, happy in their care and in a thousand 
little satisfactions that proceed from an honorable and quiet 
life. 

** Nothing, therefore, seemed to make it probable that 
they would accept^ as they did^ their son - in - law's pro- 



^81 



U 



THE UNKNOWN 

'^ Leaving everytluDg^ selling their scanty f amitnre, im« 
pelled by that unknown force which we call destiny, the 
two old people took the first steamer for France, without 
writing (had they done so, their letter would have arrived 
after they did) and without telegraphing (there was no tele- 
graphic communication between France and the Isle of Bour- 
bon at this period). 

" We therefore had had no news when, one night in the 
month of May, 1872, my mother, suddenly waking up, cried 
to my father : ' My dear ! my children ! get up. I have just 
seen papa and mamma out there beyond Toulon in a boat. 
Dress yourselves quickly ; we shall hardly have time to make 
ready their room.' 

"My father, who could not think his letter had been so 
persuasive, nor that a steamer had left Sennion a day or 
two after its receipt, began to laugh, and advised my mother 
to lie down and let her children sleep. 

" Her first emotion having passed, my mother took his ad- 
vice and went to bed again, but not until she had repeated 
that Bhefelt sure that she had seen her father and mother pass- 
ing the harbor of Toulon in a boat. 

"The next day we received a telegram from Marseilles 
telling us that grandfather and grandmother had arrived by 
the steamer of the Messageries Maritimes. 

"When my mother told her father about her vision on the 
preceding night, he told us that, wearied by their voyage and 
excited by the idea of so soon seeing their beloved daughter, 
they could not sleep, and that in a sudden burst of feeling 
they had looked intently into the darkness, their hands clasped 
each other, and thinking that only a few revolutions of the 
wheel now kept them from the object of their journey, they 
had exclaimed to each other: ^ There lives our daughter I 
We shall see her and embrace her in a few hours.' They 
were in sight of Toulon. 

"My grandmother still lives with me. She is very old, 
but when I speak to her of her return to France her eyes 
sparkle, and I know that her spirit has traversed space to 
communicate with the brain of her for whom she left 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 



everything at an age when transportation to new places 
alarms and disturbs, Palmero^ 

'* Agent of Posts aad Telegraphs at Maraeillea." 
Letter 24. 



V, "My lather being at boarding-achool, about thirty 
miles from home, ^ras awakened suddenly one night with 
his mind full of an idea that his mother was dying. (Was 
it a dream ?) He could not go to sleep again until day- 
light, being seized with a great fear, and as soon as the 
school-master was awake he went to him, begging permis- 
sion to go home. It was refused. The same night a letter 
reached him from his father, telling him that the night be* 
fore, and at the same Aoirr when he roused up in a fright, 
his mother had been thought to be dying. She had received 
the last sacranients, and had spoken of him several times. 
She had rallied, however, after being very near to death, and 
she lived long after. Bernard Vaitdekhouqek, 

" Mao tea.** 

Letter 31. 

VI. "Some years ago I lived on a little property a few 
miles from Papiti, the capital of onr French establishments 
in Oceania. I had to go to a meeting one night of the Coun- 
cil General, and about midnight quitted the town in a little 
English tax-cart, when I encoontered a terrible storm. 

'^My lamps were blown out, the road I had to take along 
tlie edge of the coast was perfectly dark ; my horse grew 
frightened and unmanageable. All of a sudden I felt a vio- 
lent sbock, my carriage had run into a tree. 

*'The two hind wheels, with what belonged to them, re- 

, mained on the spot of the accident. I fell between the horse 

and the broken body of the carriage, and was dragged a long 

distance by the frightened animal, in the course of which I 

I had every chance of being killed a hundred times. 
"However^ as I did not lose my presence of mind, I suc- 
ceeded in calming my horse, and getting down from the 
broken part of the chaise. I shouted for help, but merely on 
a chance, for I was in a perfectly uninhabited country, 
i 383 



THE UNKNOWN 

" Leaving everything, selling their scanty f urnitnre, im- 
pelled by that unknown force which we call destiny, the 
two old people took the first steamer for France, without 
writing (had they done so, their letter would have arrived 
after they did) and without telegraphing (there was no tele- 
graphic communication between France and the Isle of Bour- 
bon at this period). 

" We therefore had had no news when, one night in the 
month of May, 1872, my mother, suddenly waking up, cried 
to my father : ' My dear ! my children 1 get up. I have just 
seen papa and mamma out there beyond Toulon in a boat. 
Dress yourselves quickly ; we shall hardly have time to make 
ready their room.' 

"My father, who could not think his letter had been so 
persuasive, nor that a steamer had left Seunion a day or 
two after its receipt, began to laugh, and advised my mother 
to lie down and let her children sleep. 

" Her first emotion having passed, my mother took his ad- 
vice and went to bed again, but not until she had repeated 
that she/eZ^ sure that she had seen her father and mother pass- 
ing the harbor of Toulon in a boat. 

*^The next day we received a telegram from Marseilles 
telling us that grandfather and grandmother had arrived by 
the steamer of the Messageries Maritimes. 

"When my mother told her father about her vision on the 
preceding night, he told us that, wearied by their voyage and 
excited by the idea of so soon seeing their beloved daughter, 
they could not sleep, and that in a sudden burst of feeling 
they had looked intently into the darkness, their hands clasped 
each other, and thinking that only a few revolutions of the 
wheel now kept them from the object of their journey, they 
had exclaimed to each other : * There lives our daughter I 
We shall see her and embrace her in a few hours.' They 
were in sight of Toulon. 

"My grandmother still lives with me. She is very old, 
but when I speak to her of her return to France her eyes 
sparkle, and I know that her spirit has traversed space to 
communicate with the brain of her for whom she left 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 

everything at an age when transportation to new placea 
alarms and disturbs, Palmero, 

* Agent of Posts aod Telegraphs at MarseillcB/' 
Letter 24. 

V. ''My father being at boarding-school, about thirty 
miles from horae^ was awakened soddenly one night with 
his mind full of an idea that iiis mother was dying. (Was 
it a dream ?) He coald not go to sleep again until day- 
light, being seized with a great fear, nutl as soon as the 
school-master was awake he went to Mm, begging permis- 
sion to go home. It was refused. The same night a letter 
reached him from his father^ telling him that the night be- 
fore, and at the mme hour when be roused up in a fright, 
his mother had been thought to be dying. She had received 
the last sacraments, aud had spoken of him several times. 
She bad rallied, however, after being very near to death, and 
she lived long after. Beris'ARD Vandehhouoen. 

** Mantes." 

Letter Bl. 

VI. "Some years ago I lived on a little property a few 
miles from Papiti, the capital of our French establishments 
in Oceania, I had to go to a meeting one night of the Coun- 
cil General, and about midnight quitted the town in a little 
English tax-cart, when I encountered a terrible storm. 

** My lamps were blown out. the road I had to take along 
the edge of the coast was perfectly dark ; my horse gi-ew 
frightened and unmanageable. All of a sudden I felt a vio- 
lent shock, my carriage Iiad run into a tree. 

"The two hind wheels, with what belonged to them, re- 
mained on the spot of the accident. I fell between the horse 
aud the broken body of the carriage, and w^as dragged a long 
distance by the frightened animal, in the course of which I 
had every chance of being killed a hundred times. 

'^However, as I did not lose my presence of mind, I suc- 
ceeded in calming my horse, and getting down from the 
broken part of the chaise. I shouted for help, but merely on 
a chance, for I was in a perfectly uninhabited country. 

383 



THE UNKNOWN 

'^ As soon as they were gone we noticed the disappearance 
of these things. 

" My friend wrote about them at once, and two days after, 
when she awoke, she said to me : ^ Marie, I dreamed that I 
should get my things back to-day, and that I should receive 
a letter, but what is very curious, that the letter would be 
on pink paper all covered with writing, witliout the least little 
spot on it being blank, and the envelope will be white.' 

We waited impatiently for the postman, who brought us 
indeed the lost things and a letter in a white envelope, but 
the paper was pink, and its four sides were covered with 
writing. 

^' How could my friend have guessed all this exactly ? Was 
it a dream ? Mabie Bouoky. 

"Brimont." 

X. " I have a brother, now twenty-nine years of age, who, 
in 1889, went to Santiago, in Chili. He wrote to us regular- 
ly. After a letter, received in 1892 (I do not remember the 
exact date), mamma told us she had dreamed that she had 
seen him ill, and being carried to a hospital on a stretcher. 
Letters took about thirty-five days to come from Santiago to 
France. Five months passed and we had no news. At 
last a letter came, in which my brother told us he had just 
come out of hospital, where had been under treatment for six 
months. He had been taken there when suffering from 
typhoid -fever, which was followed by pluerisy. 

'^ Marie Vialla. 
"30 Rue Victor Hugo, Lyons." 

Letter 146. 

XI. *^ An uncle of my sister-in-law, who is still living, was 
at one time in the country about thirty miles from Bayonne, 
where he dreamed, one night, that M. Rausch, one of his in- 
timate friends, had been murdered on one of the Allies Ma- 
rines of Bayonne by some Spaniards, as he was going home. 

'^The next morning M. Bouin, uncle of my sister-in-law, 
told her his dream, though he did not put much faith in it ; 
but shortly after he received news that his friend had been 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 

niiuderodby Spaniards on the Allies Muritimea of Bayonne on 
the niglit wlieu he had had the dream. 

** I siga thes3 lines as being the expression of the truth, 
hot I should be mueh obliged if you did not publish the name 
of my family or mine. O. F. 

'* Bordeaux." Letter 77. 

XII. '' In 1872 or 1873, my mother, then a young nnnmr- 
Tied girl^ lived in the Rtie cles Tonnelles with her mother. 
She knew a family of poor people named Moriinge, who lived 
in the Rue Saint- An toine, near the Lycee Charlemagne, 
One Saturday evening she met this family, and little Mo- 
range, a child who was very fond of her, asked her to come 
and see a new frock she had put on the day before. She 
went, but soon she left the child and returned home. The 
next morning, when she woke up* my mother told my grand- 
mother that she had dreamed that the whole of the Morange 
family were dead* 

*'Soon after it was learned that they had all perished dur- 
ing the night, for their house had been burned down, 

** Marcel Gbeschel. 

*'80 Faubourg Saint-Denis, Paris/' 

Letter 294. 

XIII. " I can assure yon of the truth of a case that is 
absolutely authentic, and which happened a few years ago. 
I saw in a dream, one night, two ladies of my acquaititance 
in deep jjwitrmngy though I had not an idea that any mem- 
ber of their family was dead, or even ill. I questioned them 
and was told that they were wearing mourning for a gentle- 
man, the brother of one of them and the husband of the 
other. 

" A few days after I learned that his death Imd taken 
place on the niglit of my dream. He died at Moscow, the 
ladies were in Germany, and I lived at Mitan (Courland in 
Bussia). Sophie IIerrenburg, 

*'Hitau." LeUer^S4. 

XIV. ''Thirty years ago my family lived at Marseillea, 
One morning my father told us he had rl reamed that his 

387 



THE UNKNOWN 

mother, who lived in Alsace, and who he did not know was 

ill, was dead. Some days later he learned that his mother 

had really died on the night of his dream. N. Nische. 

'* Ciialous-sur-Marne." 

Letter 279. 

XV. (A) '* When I was a young woman I dreamed I was 
present when two men were stealing a horse belonging to my 
husband, and I witnessed all the precautions they took to 
get the animal noiselessly out of the stable. When I woke 
up I told my dream to my husband, who went at once to the 
stable, which he found empty. Three years later the robbers 
were caught and the horse paid for. 

(B) ^^ One night I saw in a dream a friend of my husband. 
He was in a cavern, and with him were my mother and my 
sisters, dead. The gentleman had been much attached to 
them. He was wrapped in long white garments. He came 
towards me with a low bow. Then he disappeared, so did 
my mother and sisters. A few days later my husband died. 

" If you think that these two dreams are worth publish- 
ing, do not give my name. I am a widow, and live humbly 

in retirement. C. F.*' 

Letter 812. 

XVIL '^n the month of October, 1898 (on the 13th or 
14th), I had just quitted Madame G., with whom I had 
spent several days, to embark on a voyage home. On the 
following night she dreamed she saw a shipwreck and a 
number of persons drowned. When she woke she wished 
(for having had other experiences she thought she had the 
gift of second-sight) to telegraph to me, begging me not to 
leave ; but her husband prevented her. On October 15th 
the papers contained accounts of a great storm and the 
wreck of a vessel involving more than one hundred deaths. 
Happily — for me — it was not my vessel. P. P., 

** Doctor of Laws. 

**Philippeville." 

Letter 396. 

XVIII. " Madame B. lived a few years since in a villa 
near Yokohama. She was in the habit of lying down an 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 

boar before dinner. One afternoon (she does not remember 
exactly if she was awake or half asleep), she suddenly cried 
out; 'Ah! mon Dieu! there is Mr. N,; he is drowning! 
Save him! Save him ! . . , Ah ! he is dead/ She had seen 
hun disfmdl^. Her husband tried to reassure her by saying 
it was all a dream, but a short time after a messenger 
came to tell them that their friend^ Mr* N., had been 
drowned while taking his daily bath in the river before 
going np to their villa to dine with them. His intention of 
going to dine with the B.*s easily explains why he thought 
of them at the time he went to bathe. The hour of the 
accident and the time of Madame B/s dream coincided ex- 
actiy, F. E. Bade. 

'' Hamburg." Letter 447, 

XIX. ''In 1884, in the early part of April, at Nice, I 
dreamed that my husband, lying ill in bed, said to me: 'Come 
and kiss me,* (We had been separated for some time.) An 
exposition was then going on at Nice. On Good-Friday, 
April 11th, a voice said to me : ^Go to the exposition to-day, 
or you will never see him again.' In the night of April 12th 
and i;5th a despatch arrived j my husband had been attacked 
with congestion of the lungs. On the 13th I left Nice for 
Paris. I saw my husband at Val de Grace, ^wa'^ as I had seen 
him in mi/ dream. He died on the 15th, without regaining 
consciousness. A. S. (widow). 

"Nice.'* 

" P.S.^I desire to be anonymous. Initials only, I beg/' 
Letter 483. 

XX. " I should like to tell you of a dream I had about six 
years ago, whicli made a great impression upon me, though I 
am not superstitious. 

"At that time I was a teacher in a boarding school in the 
Department of the Aisne. One night I dreamed that I was 
walking along the principal street of our town, when, looking 
np, I saw a clear sky, and iu the northeast I perceived a great 
black cross, on which I saw distinctly two letters like this: 



i 



THE UNKNOWN 

'^ The next day I told my dream^ and tried^ bnt in vain, to find 
out if any member of my family had a name beginning with 
the same initals. Not finding any, I thought of other things. 
Some days later (unfortunately I cannot tell you the exact 
date) I received a letter telling me that an aunt who lived in 
a village northeast of our town^ and whose name was Margae- 
rite Marconnet, had just died. The coincidence between my 
dream and her death was so striking that I never can forget 
it^ and what most astonishes me is that^ though I knew my 
aunt well, (I saw her very seldom, it had been some time since 
we met), I hardly ever thought of her. 

" L. Marconnet. 

• • Mont-beliurd." Letter 440. 

XXI. " Some years ago I read in an English monthly paper 
that a friend of Sir John Franklin had seen in a dream that 
Sir John had failed in his Arctic expedition, and then this 
friend, whose name, if I remember rightly, was Walter Snoo, 
saw all the country where the event took place. 

*^ As soon as he woke up, being skilled in drawing, he took 
a pencil, drew the boats, the blocks of ice around the spot, 
and in fact the whole country. 

'^ This drawing he sent subsequently to one of his friends, 
the proprietor of a great illustrated American newspaper, in 
which it was inserted with a brief mention of the impressions 
of Walter Snoo; but, of course, there was no proof of the 
correspondence of the event with the details in the drawing. 

*MVhen, long after, the mortal remains of Franklin and his 
companions were found in the ice and snows of the Arctic 
regions, those who saw them also made drawings of the scene, 
showing the position of the frozen bodies, the boats, dogs har- 
nessed and lying dead, all agreeing with the friend's drawing. 

" I do not know the name of the illustrated paper, nor that 
of the English monthly, but you could easily find them and 
thereby prove the exactness of your records to the whole 
world by verifying this letter which I presume to write to 
you. Dr. Bronislaw Galeciii, 

"Barrister, Place Catliedrale Faruow, Galicla. Austria." 
Letter 563. 
890 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DllEAMS 



XXII. ** I can certify to you the exactness of the follow- 
ing facts: 

'* I was seven years old. My mother, who had never heen 
willing that I should be separated from her, yielded one day 
to an earnest request from one of my aunts, and let me go 
with her to the country, giving many charges concern- 
ing me, 

*' A month passed without any incident, and, above all, with 
no accident, when one morning my mother hurried to my 
uncle's and said to him : 

*' ^Please write at once to my sister and beg her to send 
me news of my little girl, for I am in dreadful anxiety about 
her* I saw her ]ast night, in a dream, Ij^ing on a road, lifeless 
and covered with blood* Something has undoubtedly hap- 
pened to her. I have a presentiment of it. Now you know 
that I am never mistaken about such things!' 

** My uncle laughed at my mother and told her that his wife 
was a prudent woman and would expose me to no danger. 
But the next day he received a letter written by his wife the 
evening before in which she told him, but forbade him to tell 
mj mother, of an accident that had befallen me. 

" The same night on which my mother saw me covered 
with blood, my aunt had gone out driving, taking me and 
three other persons with her. It was dark ; the carriage-lamp 
went out J and we found ourselves on a country road without 
knowing where we were. Suddenly the horse, who had been 
trotting quietly, shied and reared. He ran up against a 
hedge on one side of the road, and threw out all the people 
in the carriage. No one could tell how it happened, bet not 
one of them received so much as a scratch but myself. I had 
been fast asleep. The shock threw me under the belly of the 
horse, who, in trying to get up, struck me on the face and 
chest, and dragged me over the sharp pebbles in the road, the 
right side of my face being next to them. 

*'' My blood flowed in abundance ; my ear was torn ; I 
heard heart-rending cries for help, but no one answered them. 
As I said, the night was dark and our lamps were out. At last 
help came from a house not far off, and they found I had 

mi 



THE UNKNOWN 

fainted and was in a deplorable condition. A man in his 
shirt-sleeves had passed close before the horse and had fright- 
ened him. O. D. 
" 58 AveDue de Saxe^ Paris." 

Letter 625. 

XXIII. " One morning, when I was seventeen years old, I 
woke up about seven o'clock. I went to sleep again till eight, 
and I dreamed that I was passing before a house where lived 
a family I knew, but seldom visited. This house had a shop 
in it, and I dreamed I saw the shop closed, with a sheet of 
white paper nailed on the door, on which was written the 
word ' Deceased.' I woke up and told my dream to mamma, 
who showed me the newspaper of that morning, in which the 
death was announced. Does not this coincidence tend to 
prove a certain displacement of the soul during sleep ? With- 
out it how could I have had this dream, since nothing had 
made me think of a death in that family ? 

** Marie Louise Milice. 
** 33 Rue Boudet, Bordeaux." 

Letter 661. 

XXIV. "One of my friends, at present post-mistress at 
Louvign6-du-Dezert (Ille-et-Vilaine), Mademoiselle Blanche 
Suzanne, was, about twenty-five years ago, engaged to be mar- 
ried to a young man, the son of an agriculturist, who had 
undertaken teaching. One day she dreamed that her fianci 
had sent her a long letter, in which he wrote as follows, or 
very nearly so : 

''^I should have done better had I not relinquished the 
plough and taken up teaching/ The next morning the young 
girl told her dream to her mother, quoted this sentence, and 
then sat down to her work again. Some hours after the post- 
man brought her a letter from her lover, in which were pre- 
cisely and exactly the same words. 

"Hei^riette FjiANgois. 
*' Bromberg-Posen. Germany." 

Letter 662. 

XXV. ''Here is what once happened to my father, a 
Councillor of State, a man seventy years of age, when he was 



^ANT SIGHT IN D] 

Btaymg in the country to get a little rest. It was at Saint 36lie. 
Ill the country where there are few distractions or changes, 
whero one day passes just like another, my father lost count 
of time, and even forgot it was St- filie^s day* the day of the 
village fiie* That morning at breakfast he told us a dream 
he had had during the night. He had seen his siater-in-law, 
who lived a long way off. She asked him if the funeral of 
her hushand was to take place that day at St. £lie, or on an- 
other day elsewhere. When my grandfather told us the 
dream, he said it had been a great surprise to learn that this 
was St. file's day. After thinking a moment, and remark- 
ing on the strangeness of dreams in general^ my father took 
the train to go to town, promising to come back in the even- 
ing. Great was our bo rp rise when he retnrned, bringing a 
letter from his sister-ia-law telling ns of her hnsband's death, 
which took place on the day of St. £lie ! 

*' Mabie de Lesley. 

*' Riga-Orel, Go vera meat of Smolensk. Russia." 
^H Letter 679. 

XXVI. **I had a daDghter of the age of fifteen; she waa 
my joy and pride, I left her with my mother, w^hile I made 
a little journey. On May 17, 1894, I was to be at home 
again. Now on the 16th I dreamed that my daughter was 
very ill, that she was sobbing and calling for me with all her 
strength. I woke up much agitated, but I said to myself 
dreams are all nonsense. In the course of the day I had a 
letter from my danghtar, who made no complaint about her 
health, only telling what had happened at home. The next 
day I got back; my daughter did not rnn to meet me as she 
always used to do ; a maid told me she had been suddenly 
taken ill. She had a terrible pain in her head. I made her 
go to bed. Alas ! she never again left it Diphtheria declared 
itself two days after, and, in spite of all our care, mj dear 
child died on the 29th of May. Now two days before her 
death I had thrown myself npon my bed, a little sick cham- 
ber separated from hers only by a door ; I closed my eyes, 
but I did not sleep. My daughter was in a doze^ but the 

dm 




THE UNKNOWN 

nurse was awake. Suddenly a bright light shone in the dark 
chamber^ with a swiftness and a brilliancy like that of a flash 
X)f sunlight in August at mid-day. I called to the nurse. 
She did not answer me for a moment; before she did so I was 
beside my daughter's bed. The night-lamp had gone ont^ the 
flash of light was gone. The nurse seemed paralyzed with 
fear. In vain I questioned her^ but next day she told the 
servants (and she says the same thing still) that she saw my 
husband^ who died six months before^ standing at the foot of 
my daughter's bed. 

" This person is still living. She is forty-eight years old, 
and she will tell what she saw to any one who asks her. 

"Madame R. Db L. 

"Lacapalle." Letter 683. 

XXVII. (A). "Not long ago I got in a very nervous state 
thinking of my deceased husband, who had died seven years 
before, when, having gone to bed, I took a newspaper and 
read a review of a book written by Monsieur K. 

" After reading this criticism I had an ardent desire to see 
the book, all the more so because Monsieur K. had been 
an old friend of my husband's. 

"The next day, on reaching the high school for young 
girls, in which I am a professor, one of the pupils in the first 
class brought me a book, and said : ^ Madame, I wish you 
would read this book and give me your opinion of it.' I 
opened the book, and saw it was the one I had so much 
wished for the evening before. 

(B). "If this had been a solitary case I should, probably, 
have passed it over in silence, but in the course of the same 
week a second thing happened which impressed me equally. 
I dreamed of one of the pupils named Z., who had left school 
and gone to another town, and whom I had not seen for a 
year. 

" I saw her in a dream, with her hair cut short. 

" The next day, in the gymnasium, one of the pupils in my 
class came up to me and said : ^ Madame, I have received a 
letter from my friend Z. ; she begs me to remember her to 

894 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 

you. She is vorj mucli pat out juat now becanse they have 
cut off all her bain ..." 

'* Why should two such strauge thiugB have happened to 
me in one week ? M. Onanoff. 

*• Fayaiiray, od tbe Sen of Azof." 

Letter 684. 

It will be found by these examples of things seen at a dis- 
tance in dreams that they cannot be said to be few. Here 
are still some more. It seems to us that the very number of 
these instances makes it impossible to deny such experiences. 
These that follow are taken from the Htdhtcinations Tele- 
pathiquM. The first is told by Dr. Goodall Janes, living at 
6 Prince Edwin Street, Liverpool : 

XXIX. '^ Mrs. Jones, the wife of Wiiliam Jones, a pilot 
at Liverpool, kept her bed on Saturday, February 27, 1869. 
When I went to see her the next day, Siintlay, at three o'clock 
in the afternoon, I encountered her husband, who was setting 
out to find me, because his wife was delirious. He told me 
that about half an hour before he had been reading in her 
chamben Sud<lenly she woke out of a profound sleep, de- 
claring that her brother, William Roulaiids, also a pilot at 
Liverpool, had been drowned in the river (the Mersey). Iler 
husband tried to calm her, telling her that Ron lands was at 
his station In the offing, and could not possibly, at that time, 
be in the river. But she persisted in declaring that she had 
seen him drown. News arrived in the evening to say that at 
the hour mentioned (that is, about half-past two), Roulands 
had been drowned. There had been a sudden squall of wind. 
The pilot-boat could not put a pilot aboard a aliip that wanted 
to enter the Mersey. It had, therefore, to go before and lead 
the way. When both were in the river, opposite the light- 
house on the rock, they made another attempt to put a pilot 
on board, but the little boat was swamped and Roulands and 
another pilot were drowned." 

This is a striking example of a thing seen at a distance in 
a dream. Inquiry has proved the absolute authenticity of 
the story. It is the same with the following case, told by a 
Mrs. Green, in Newry, England: 

395 



THE UNKNOWN 

XXX. ^' I saw iu a dream two women, who seemed to 
know pretty well what they were about, driving a yehicle 
very like the carts used for carrying mineral waters. The 
horse found some water in front of him ; he stopped to drink, 
but, stepping into a hole, he lost his balance, and, trying to 
recover himself, he slipped deeper. The women rose np 
screaming for help ; their hats flew off their heads, and then 
all sank into the water. I turned round weeping, trying to 
see if I could find any one to render assistance. With that I 
partly awoke, greatly agitated, and my husband woke me np 
completely. I told him my dream. He asked me if I knew 
the women. I told him no ; it seemed to me that I had never 
seen them. All day I could not get rid of the impression of 
the dream, and the disquietude into which it had thrown me. 

'^ I said to my son that it was his birthday and mine too, 
January 10th, and that is the reason why I am so sure of the 
date. 

**In the month of March I received a letter from my 
brother in Australia, and a newspaper, which told me of his 
grief at losing one of his daughters, who had been drowned 
with a friend precisely on the same day and at the same hour 
as my dream, allowing, that is, for the difference in longi- 
tude. The accident was related in the Inglewood Adver- 
tiser in two places." 

The Inglewood Advertiser of January 11, 1878, published 
an account of the accident which corresponded exactly with 
what was seen in the dream. 

Here is another very remarkable instance of something 
seen at a distance in a dream. The person to whom it hap- 
pened was the son of the Protestant Bishop of Iowa in the 
United States. He saw in a dream his father, who lived 
about three miles distant, fall down a staircase. Here ia the 
story as he wrote it to one of his relations : 

XXXI. ^' I ought to say in the first place that between my 
father and myself there was the strongest tie of affection, 
stronger than usually exists between father and son. For 
years I always thought I could tell when he was in any dan- 
ger, even if we were many miles apart. 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DKEAMS 

*^ The night when he fell down the staircase I had got 
home from bus mess about eight o'clock, after a day of very 
hard work, and I went to bed immediately after supper. I 
always slept next the wall. Our bed's head is towards the 
north, conseqiientl}^ I slept on the west side of the bed, I 
fell asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow, and I 
slept a heavy ♦ deep sleep. I did not hear my wife come to 
bed, and I knew nothing an til my father appeared to me at 
the top of a staircase about to fall, I sprang to seize hold of 
him, and jumped out of bed at the foot, making a great deal 
of noise. My wife woke up, and asked nie 'what the mis- 
chief I could be doing?' I also lit a lamp, and looked at my 
watch ; it was a quarter past two. I asked my wife if she 
had heard the noise I made. She answered no. I told her 
then what I had seen, and she tried to make me laugh at it^ 
but did not succeed, 

"I slept no more that nighL I did not even go to bed 
again^ the impression had been so strong that I could not 
feel a doubt that my father had hurt himself. I went early 
to town the next morning and telegraphed lo Iiim, asking if 
all were welL I got a letter in reply from my father, w^hich 
exactly corresponded to what I bad seen in my vision, and 
the very moment as well* The sad consequences of the fall 
W0 know too w^ell — but how, at a distance of three miles, 
could I have seen my father fall ? That is what I cannot 
comprehend. H. M. Lee/' 

Bishop Sullivan, Bishop of Algoma, confirms the fact, 
which was told him immediately after. ^ 

The preceding instance was published by Professor Sedge- 
wick in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Be- 
search^ in London, and he adds the following case sent him 
on August 18, 18T0, by Madame de Holstein (29 Avenue de 

» Sciences psychiques, 189L In Phantmm» of the Linng will be found 
a singtiliir ciise (vol- i., p. 338, No. 108), whicli is like this one, lo it 
Canon Warburton suddenly starlincr from his sleep saw his brotlier fall- 
ing down ti ataircuse. Compare also No. 24 in the same volume, p. 202, 
aud a dream of ^I, Drcuiilie described in tlie jircccdiiig eh^ten 3ilvi- 

3^ 



THE UNKNOWN 

Wagram, Paris). This case is a little less satisfactory as to 
proof than the last^ because the dream was told to no one 
until its truth was known. It seems, however, to hare made 
such an impression on Dr. Oolinski that it is unlikely that 
its details can have been much altered after the event. It 
differs from the preceding ones in that the clairvoyant im- 
pression seems to have been due not to any rapport between the 
subject and the agent, or to any especial crisis that the agent 
had undergone, but to his anxiety and intense desire to help. 
(Psychic waves.) 

Now see what Dr. Golinski writes of it. He is a physician 
at Krementchug in Bussia : 

XXXII. ''I am in the habit of dining at three o'clock, 
and of taking a little nap afterwards of an hour or an hour 
and a half. In the month of July, 1888, 1 stretched myself, 
as usual on a sofa, and I went to sleep about half-past three. 
I dreamed that some one rang the bell, and I had the usual 
disagreeable sensation that now I must get up and go to see 
some sick person. 

"Then I found myself somehow transported into a little 
room with dark hangings. To the right of the door by -which 
I entered there was a bureau, and upon the bureau stood a 
little coal - oil lamp of a very peculiar pattern. I was very 
much interested in the shape of this lamp, it was so differ- 
ent from anything I had ever seen before. To the left of the 
door I saw a bed, on which lay a woman who had had a se- 
vere hemorrhage. I do not know exactly how I came to know 
she had a hemorrhage, but I did know it. I made an exam- 
ination of the woman, but in some way (it seemed to be by 
inner consciousness) I knew at once what to expect, though 
no one had spoken to me. Afterwards I dreamed in a vague 
fashion that I gave her some medical assistance ; then I awoke 
in a very unusual manner, for I generally wake very slowly — I 
remain for some minutes in a state of drowsiness, but now I 
started up wide awake, as if some one had roused me. It 
was half -past four. I got up; I lighted a cigarette, and I 
walked about my room in a state of excitement, reflecting on 
the dream I had just had. For a long time I had had no 



.MS 

ciise of liemorrhage in mj practice, and I asked myself what 
could have caused my dream. 

** About ten minutes after I woke there came a ring at mj 
bell, and I was summoned to a patient. On entering the bed- 
room I was struck with astonishment, for it was exactly like 
the chamber I had seen in my dream. The patient was a 
woman, and what struck me most of all was an oil-lamp stand- 
ing on the bureau, exactly where I had seen it, and exactly 
the same shape as I had seen. My astonishment was so great 
that I lost, if I may say so, all distinction between the dream 
and the reality^ and going up to the bed of the sick woman, I 
said to her, quietly, ' You have had a hemorrhage.* And I 
did not recover myself until the patient said, * Yes, but how 
did you know it ?' 

'* Struck by the strange coincidence between mj dream and 
what [ saw, I asked the woman when she had decided to send 
for me. She told me she had been indisposed since early 
morning. About one o'clock in tlie afternoon she had had a 
slight hemorrhage and some discomfort, but she had not 
thought much about it At about half -past four she decided 
to send for me. The distance between my house and that in 
which she lived takes about twenty minutes to walk, I hardly 
knew the woman, though I had once prescribed for her; but 
I was not at all familiar with the state of her health, 

"I do not commonly dream, and this is the only dream 
that I can remember, thanks to its correspondence with 
reality/* 

Mrs. Henry Sedgwick has described several experiences of 
things seen at a distance by a young girl of fifteen, when 
magnetized, which we may certainly include among things 
observed in dreams. We will quote two of these here : 

XXXIIL ''Miss Florence F,, now Mcs. R., one of my 
neighbors, was invited to come one evening, after we had pre- 
pared an experience as a test of this girl during the day. She 
came, and told the subject to go to the kitchen and tell ns 
what she saw there. The subject answered: 'The table is 
in the middle of the room, and on it is a box covered by a 
table-cloth.' ' What is in the box, Fanny ?' I asked, 'Oh, I 

m9 



THE UNKNOWN 

dare not look inside the box ; it might make Miss Florence 
angry !* ' Miss Florence wants yon to look. Lift up the 
cloth^ Fanny, and tell me what is under it/ At once she an- 
swered : 'There are seven rolls and six biscuits/ (This was 
exact.) 

^^I grant this may have been transmission of thought, for 
Miss Florence was in the room, and no donbt the contents of 
the box were present to her mind, the things having been 
arranged by her as a trial, bat what followed certainly was 
not. 

" Miss Florence asked Fanny what was in the stable She 
answered : ' Two black horses, one gray, and one red ' (she 
meant bay). Miss Florence said, 'That is not right, Fanny. 
There are only my black horses in the stable.' Ten minutes 
or a quarter of an hour after a brother of Miss Florence came 
to the house and told his sister that he had brought two 
travellers with him, and on qaestioning him we learned that 
the gray horse and the red horse belonged to them, and that 
half an hour before they had been put into the stable, where 
Fanny saw them. 

''No doubt it may be said that Fanny arrived at this con- 
clusion by reading the mind of some one of the persons 
present belonging to Miss Florence's household, or that by 
telepathic sympathy with her father or brother Miss Florence 
was unconsciously made aware of the facts, and that Fanny 
took her knowledge from this unconscious source, but is not 
this hypothesis far fetched ?" 

XXXIV. (A) " Mr. Howard lived six miles away from my 
house. He had just built a large mansion of wood. Our 
subject had never seen this house, although I think she may 
have heard it spoken of. Mr. Howard had been passing 
several days away from home, and he asked that Fanny should 
go there and see if all was well. She cried out at the size 
and splendor of the house, but she laughed at the ugliness of 
the front door and the facade, saying that she would not have 
such an ugly old front door to such a beautiful house. 'Yes, 
said Howard, laughing, 'my wife is furious with me about 
the front door, and the steps of the facjade.' 'Oh V inter- 

400 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 



1^ 



rnpted Fanny, 'but the steps are fine, und new*' 'She is 
wrong there," said Howard. * The steps are more ugly than 
the front door.' * But don't you see,' cried Funny, inipatientlyj 
Miow new they are, and so clean ? Ila !' (and to judge by 
her tone she was much annoyed) 'I think they are perfectly 
beautifuL' 

*•' Changing the subject, Howard asked how many windows 
there were in his house. Almost immediately she gave the 
number, (I think it was twenty-six*) Howard thought that 
was too many, but on counting them he found she was right. 

''From our house lie went straight home, and to his great 
surprise found that during his absimcc his wife had got a car- 
penter to make new steps to the porch, and the work was 
completed the very day that Fanny examined the house with 
her invisible telescope. 

(B) '* Mr. Howard's son had gone into a neighboring 
county. He was expected home in a few days. Fanny knew 
this yonng man Andrew, Mr. Howard being obliged to re- 
turn to the station, was with ua the night his son was expected 
to return. His faith in our 'oracle' had grown very great, 
and he suggested to us that he would like to see what was 
passing in his own house through the marvelious faculties of 
Fanny. She described the rooms perfectly, even mentioning 
n bouquet standing on a table, and said that several persons 
were there. Questioned as to who they were, she replied that 
she did not know any of them except Andrew. *But/ she 
added, 'Andrew is not at home/ 'Fanny I How is that — 
<lon't yon see him ? Are yon sure, Fanny ?' 'Oh I don't I 
know Andrew ? There now^now, I tell yon ! He is there !' 
Mr. Howard returned home the next morning, and learned 
that Andrew liad come home late the night before, and that 
several young men of the neighborhood had passed the even- 
ing with him/* 

Here is another very remarkable case of sight at a distance 
by a person magnetized. It was first related by Dr, Alfred 
Bach man* of Kalmar. 

*' In answer to a letter asking Mr. A. Suhr, a photographer 
at Ystad, in Sweden, if he conld remember anything about an 

401 



THE UNKNOWN 

hypnotic experiment made by Mr. Hansen some years ago in 
the presence of Mr. Suhr and his brother. Dr. Backman wrote 
the following account : 

XXXVI. " It was in 1867 that we (myself and the brothers 
who sign this account) were established at Odense, in Den- 
mark, where we saw a great deal of our mutual friend, Mr. 
Carl Hansen, the hypnotizer, who lived near us. Every day 
we met a lawyer, Mr. Balle, now a barrister at Copenhagen, 
over whom Mr. Hansen exercised great hypnotic influence, 
and who requested, one evening, to be put into so deep an 
hypnotic sleep that he might become clairvoyant. 

• '^Our mother lived at this time at Boeskilde, in Seeland. 
We asked Hansen to send Balle to visit her. It was late in 
the evening, and, after having hesitated for a moment^ Mr. 
Balle, in a few minutes, made the journey. He found our 
mother sick and in bed ; but she had only a slight cold, 
which, he said, she would soon get over. We did not think 
this could be true, and, as a test, Hansen asked Balle to read 
the name of the street at the corner of the house. Balle said 
it was too dark to read, but Hansen insisted, and at last he 
reap * Skomagerstraede.^ We thought he was completely mis- 
taken, for we knew our mother lived in another street. A 
few days later she wrote us a letter saying she had been sick, 
and had moved into the Skomagerstraede." 

Here is another case of sight at a distance — a real thing 
seen in a dream : 

XXXVII. "I lived at Wallingford. My chief friend was 
a young man, Frederick Marks, a graduate of the scientific 
school at Yale. Frederick had a brother named Charles, 
then living in central New York, near Lake Oneida. One 
rainy day Frederick went up to his room to lie down and do 
nothing. In about an hour he came down, saying he had 
just seen Ms brother Charles, he presumed in a vision. He 
was in a little sailboat, and had a companion with him, who 
was seated in the stern. It was blowing a gale, the waves ran 
high. Charles was in the bow, with one arm rotmd the mast, 
while with the other he held on to the boom, which was 
broken. His dangerous situation so alarmed Frederick that 

402 



IIT 



lEAl 



h6 woke, and the vision disappeared* His family thouglit he 
had gone to sleep without knowing it, and that the vision was 
no more than an ordinary dream* 

" Nevertheless^ three or four days later, Frederick received 
a letter from Charles, telling him of an adventare he had just 
had on Lake Oneida. On the morning of the day in question, 
he and a companion had gone down to the lake, hired a boat, 
and Bet saih As the weather was fine^ they went down the 
lake to Frenchman's Island, a distance of about twenty miles. 

'* In the afternoon, as they returned, a furious storm arose. 
Charles baled ont the water that they shipped, while his com- 
panion held the rudder* When the gale was at its height the 
boom broke- Charleys, seeing the danger, sprang forward, and, 
seizing the mast with one arm and the boom with the other, 
he tried to secure it with the hawser. They succeeded in 
preyenting the boat from going down until they ran it ashore. 
Then they Jumped into the lake and made their way to land, 
safe and sound. 

"Oneida Lake is about three hundred miles fromWalling- 
ford, and taking into consideration the difference of time, it 
will be found that Frederick's dream, or vision, must have 
taken place at the same hour as Charles's danger — perhaps at 
the same minute. The temperaments and the characters of 
the two brothers are very unlike, and no particular affinity 
exists between them. Frederick now lives at Santa Anna 
(California), and Charles in the city of New York. 

"B. Bristol. 

"Short Beacli. IT. S. A." 



The letters of MM- Charles and Frederick Marks explain 
in detail the peril and the vision. They will be found in the 
Afmals of Psychical Sciences (1893, p. 250-255). There was 
in this, it cannot he doubted, a very decided case of sight at 
a distance. Let us remark, in the letter of Mr. Charles Marks, 
the following passage : 

" In reply to the question, *Did you know that your brother 
thought he saw yoii at this moment?' I would reply that, as 
far as I remember. I had no feeling that my brother was see- 

403 



THE UNKNOWN 

ing me. I think that all my thoughts were occupied with 
what I was doing. When getting on the thwart I tried to lower 
the sail. Knowing the habits of my brother (who is a man 
exceptionally robnst and in good health)^ I should have 
thought him possibly asleep at the moment^ for his robust 
constitution enables him to go to sleep whenever he will. He 
can drop asleep at any moment, at any time in the day, and 
he often takes a siesta in the afternoon. While he lived at 
Wallingford he was a student in the scientific school at Yale. 

"O.K. Marks.'' 

All these accounts prove with certainty that human beings 
are endowed with faculties yet unknown to us, faculties that 
permit us to see what is passing at a distance. Here is an in- 
stance still more remarkable, in which the person who plays 
the principal part not only saw but seemed to feel herself 
transported to a distance in a sort of double existence, and 
was seen not only by her husband, but by another man. 

XXXVIII. "On October 3, 1863, I left Liverpool for 
New York, on board the steamer City of Limerick of the 
Inman line, commanded by Captain Jones. On the even- 
ing of the second day, after having passed Kinsale Head, we 
encountered a great storm which lasted nine days. During 
that time we saw neither sun nor stars, nor did we sight any 
other vessel. The bulwarks were stove in by the violence of 
the tempest, one of the anchors broke loose, and did a great 
deal of harm before it could be stowed again. Several big 
sails, though close-reefed, were carried away, and their yards 
were broken. 

"During the night which succeeded the eighth day of the 
storm, the gale was a little less violent, and for the first time 
since we left port I was able to get a refreshing sleep. 
"J^owards morning I dreamed that I saw my wife, whom I 
had left in the United States. She came to the door of my 
state-room in her night-dress. On the threshold she seemed 
to perceive that I was not alone ; she hesitated a little, and 
then came up to me, stooped and kissed me, and after hav- 
ing caressed me a few moments she quietly withdrew. 

404 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 

''When I woke tip I was surprised to observe my room - 
mate, wliose berth waa over mioej though I could not seo 
hitn very distinctly, for our state-room was in the stern of the 
vessel, sitting up, leaning on his elbow and looking at me 
fixedly. ' You are a lucky fellovVj* he said^ at last, * to have 
a lady come to visit you like that 1* I asked liim to ex- 
plain himself. At first he would not., hot at last he told me 
wliat he liad seen, for he was quite awake and sitting up in 
his berth. It corresponded exactly with what I had seen in 
my dream. 

" The name of my room-mate was William J. Tait ; he was 
not a man likely to be guilty of a joke. He was, on the con- 
trary, a gnive and very religious man, whose word I cannot 
doubt, 

** The day after we lauded, I took the train for Water- 
town, where my wife and children were living. As soon 
I as we were alone her first question was : * Did you receive 
my visit a week ago on Tuesday ?' 'A visit from you ?' I 
said. 'W^hyj we were a thousand miles at sea/ *I know," 
she said, ' but it seems to me as if I had gone to risit 
you.' * Impossible !' I cried ; ' tell me what makes you 
think so.' 

*^'My wife then told me that seeing the great storm rag- 
ing, and knowing of the loss of the Africa bound for Boston, 
which sailed the same day that we left Liverpool for New 
York, and had gone ashore on Cape Eace, she had been very 
anxious about my safety* The night before, the same night 
wlieUj as I have said, the tempest began to abate, she had stayed 
awake a long time thinking of me, and about four o^ ock in 
the morning it seemed to lier that she must come and find 
me. Crossing the angry waves of the vast sea, she imagined 
that she came to a black ship, low in the water ; she climbed 
on board, and, going down the companion-stairs, passed 
through the ship until she reached my state-room, 'Tell 
me,' she said, *are all the staterooms like the one I saw you 
in ? Is the upper berth a little farther back tlian the under 
one ? There was a man in the upper berth who looked 
straight at me> and for a moment I was afraid to come in, 

405 



A 



THE UNKNOWN 

but at last I came up to you, bent over you^ kissed yea, 
pressed you in my arms^ and then I went away/ 

** The account given by my wife was correct in all its de- 
tails^ though she had never seen the steamer. I find in my 
sister's journal that we left Liverpool October 4th, reached 
New York October 22d, and were home on the 23d. 

" S. R. WiLMOT, 
* * Manufacturer, Bridgeport " 

The New York Herald says that the City of Li^nerich left 
Liverpool October 3d, 1865, Queenstown the 6th, and arrived 
at her wharf early on October 23d. It also tells of the 
great storm, of the critical situation of the steamer, and of 
the shipwreck of the Africa. Inquiry has confirmed in vari- 
ous ways this strange story. Mr. Wilmot's sister, who was 
on the same boat, writes : 

" On the subject of the singular experience of my brother 
one night on board the City of Limerick, I remember that 
Mr. Tait, who that morning took me down to breakfast be- 
cause of the terrible storm which was raging, asked me if the 
night before I had come in to see my brother, whose state- 
room he shared. *No,' I answered. ^WhyP 'Because,' 
he said, ' I saw a woman all in white who came to see your 
brother.' '* 

Mrs. Wilmot also writes : 

"In answer to the question. Did you see anything peculiar 
about the man in the upper berth ? I must answer that after 
so long a time I cannot speak with certainty as to minor de- 
tails, but I know I was much troubled by his presence and 
by perceiving that he was watching me from above. I think 
that I told my dream to my mother the next morning, and I 
know that all day I had a vivid impression that I had been 
to see my husband. This impression was so strong that I 
felt myself reassured and comforted, to my very great sur- 
prise. Mrs. S. R. Wilmot. '^ * 

This very remarkable case deserves particular attention. 
It is rather old. The account was probably written more 

1 Annals of the Society for Psychical Research, 1891. 
406 



HT IN DREAMS 



tliaa twenty years after it took place. One of those wlio saw 
it is dead, and cannot give an account at first-hand of what 
he saw. We cannot feci certain that the testimony of the 
witnesses after so long a time had passed is exact, however 
honest it may be, nor can we trust all the details. Yet, after 
all these reservations, there undoobtedly is a remarkable cor- 
respondence between the impressions of the three persons. 
Mrs* Wilmot had, either dreaming or awake, a vision of her 
husband, and was able to make her way to him through the 
obstacles that surrounded him, Mr. Wilmot dreamed what 
his wife thought, and Mr. Tait, awake, saw with his own 
eyes what seemed a dream to Mr. Wilmot* These are three 
inexplicable facts wliich we are forced to admit. 

M. Marcel Semfizies SarizoUea reports the following carioas 
observations made on himself : 

XXXIX. **In November, 1881, I had a very vivid dream. 
In it I was reading a book of poetry. I experienced the ex- 
act sensations I was reading about I enjoyed it; but pres- 
ently I remarked the coarseness of the paper^ which had 
turned yellow, the very black and greasy type, my fingers 
turned thick pages, and the book became heavy in my hand. 
All of a sudden, as I was turning over a page, I woke up, 
and mechanically, still half asleep, 1 lit a candle, picked up 
on my table the pencil and paper I always keep besitle the 
book that I intend to read that evening (that night it was a 
work on military history), and I wrote down the two last 
verses I had just read in my dream. I could not, even with 
violent and painful efforts of m^emory, recall a single line 
with the exception of the twelve I had written down, which 
seemed to treat of some question of metaphysics, and their 
sense was incomplete, for the last line broke ofiE without 
coming to a stop. Here they are just as I wrote them down 
in pencil; 

'' Dti temps od je vivaiB une vre aDterieune, 
Du tempB od je mcDnls I'existeDce meillure, 

Doat je oe puis me souvuuir, 
Alora que je savals lea effeta ct Ics cauaeSf 
Av^nt ma ckuie lente et nii:s metamorpho&es 
Vera un plus triate devenir, 
407 



THE UNKNOWN 

" Da temps otl Je vivais les hautes existenoes, 
DoDt homines nous n'avons que des r^miniscenoes 

Rapdiles comme des flairs. 
Oti peut-dtre J'allais libra & travers I'espace, 
Comme un astre, laissant voir un instant sa tnoe 

Dans le bleu sombre des eibers . . • 

''These lines cannot be a reminiscence of my reading. I 
have tried to find them in all kinds of collections of poetry. 
The volume I was reading in my dream seemed to me never 
to have been pablished and to be quite unknown.'' 

Here again are one or two cases of presentiments or divina- 
tion in dreams : 

''About 1880 my father was a magistrate at Montanban^ 
and he had in his court a barrister named Laporte. I see 
liim now, lean, fair, with cold eyes^ and something enigmatic 
about him. It is to be observed that I was then a very young 
man, that these lawyers interested me very little, and that 
the only relations I had with them were those of mere polite- 
ness, such as the son of a magistrate is bound to entertain 
with all those who belong to his father's tribunal. In 1883 
my father died, and Laporte was made judge at Nontron in 
the Dordogne. I paid little attention to this, and I had com- 
pletely forgotten the man, when, two or three years later, I 
saw in a dream my father walking, with a sort of moving 
cloud beneath his feet, which seemed to float among the other 
clouds. My father's attitude, garments, step, and smile were 
just like what they had been in his life-time. Suddenly I 
saw a form come from beneath the clouds and advance tow- 
ards him. This form, by degrees, took the exact appear- 
ance of M. Laporte, and when the two shades met I heard 
very distinctly these words uttered by my father : * Tiens ! 
here you are, Laporte. So now it is your turn !' To which 
Laporte replied, merely, ' Yes, it is I,' and they shook bands. 

"A few days later I found in my mail a billet de /aire part 
(the announcement of a death by the family of the deceased). 
It informed me that M. Laporte, judge at Nontron (Dor- 
dogne), had died young, on the very day when I had dreamed 
about him. 

408 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 

** Here is another case of the same kind. Of tliis I have 
preserved the date^December 18, 1894. Dreaming while 
asleep I saw in hia study, looking over some papers^ a notary 
who lived in a little town about ten miles from the capital of 
the department where I was then living. This notary had 
some investments in hia hands belonging to me, and he was 
in the habit of coming to see me once or twice a year at ir- 
regular intervals to bring me the interest. I repeat that his 
visits had no fixed date, and I never saw this notary — a most 
honorable man, a councillor-general, a mayor, and a cheva- 
lier of the Legion of Honor — but well dressed, and even ele- 
gant in his attire. That night I saw him wearing a long 
blue overcoat, with a black silk cap upon his head. The day 
after the morrow, December 20th, early in the morning, this 
notary, Monsieur X., came in to my stady, and presented me 
an unexpected sani that he said was due me. 

** * Well/ said I, ^and what have yon done with your blue 
red in go fe and your sk nil-cap of blue silk?' 

*^ lie looked at me with the greatest surprise, and said: 
*How in the world do you know what I wear at home?^ I 
told him mj dream, and he then owned, not without aston- 
ishment, that on the Ibth of December he had sat up in his 
I etudy very late, and was wearing the clothes I described*" 

Of these three dreams, the last shows sight at a distance of 
a thing that was happening ; the second is a sort of tele- 
pathic manifestation from a dying person, but who did not 
come himself to the percipient, being almost a stranger to 
liim* It is perhaps also sight at a distance, but of a very 
transcendent kind. The first seems to show a real composi- 
tion or invention in the brain of the writer, analogous to 
products of unconscious cerebration recorded by Maury, 
Condi llac, Voltaire, Tartini, and Abercrombie (pp. 325-332). 
Apropos of dreams, the following historical fact has been 
known a long time: 

XLIL *'^One uiglit the Princesse de Conti saw in a dream 
an apartment of her palace ready to fall down, and her chil- 
dren, who slept in it, were on the point of being buried in 
the ruins. The image presented to her imagination moved 

409 



k 



THE UNKNOWN 

her heart and froze her blood. In her fright she started up 
awake and called to her women who slept in her dressing- 
room. They came at once to receiye the orders of their mis- 
tress. She told her vision, and declared that she desired 
some one to go at once and bring her her children. Her 
women quieted her, telling her the old proverb, dreams go 
by contraries. The princess insisted that her order must be 
obeyed. The governess and the nurse made believe to obey, 
and then came back and told her that the young princes 
were fast asleep, and that it would be a pity to disturb them. 
The princess, seeing their obstinacy,' and possibly suspecting 
their deceit, asked angrily for her dressing-gown. They could 
not help themselves ; they went and brought the young 
princes, who were no sooner in their mother's room than the 
wall of their own chamber fell.* 

Sight at a distance, without eyes, in a dream, very closely 
resembles analogous things often noted by magnetizers in 
their clairvoyant subjects. Here is an example incontesta- 
bly true, observed by several surgeons on the occasion of an 
operation for the painless removal of a woman's breast dur- 
ing magnetic sleep. It is reported by Brierre de Boismont. 

XLIII. " Madame Plantin, who was about sixty-four years 
old," he writes (see obs. 106), *' consulted, in the month of 
June, 1828, a somnambulist whom Dr. Chapelain had pro- 
cured for her. This woman told her of a tumor forming in 
her right breast which threatened to become cancerous. 

"The sick woman passed the summer in the country, and 
followed conscientiously the regimen prescribed for her. 
She came back at the end of September to see Dr. Chapelain, 
and told him that the tumor had grown considerably larger. 
He began to magnetize her on the 23d of October following, 
and the sleep began to show itself a few days later. But 
clairvoyant somnambulism with her was never more than im- 
perfect. What was done for her stopped the progress of the 
evil but did not cure her. At last the breast ulcerated, and 
the doctor saw no hope for saving her life but in removing it. 

' Archives General de Medicine, 1829. 
410 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 



M. Jules Cloqnetj an eminent surgeon, was of the same 
opinion. It remained only to know what the patient would 
say. Dr, Chapelain succeeded in gaining her consent, thanks 
to the magnetic power he possessed over her. He endeavored 
with the whole force of his will to produce insensibility in 
the part to be operated on^ and when he thought he had suc- 
ceeded he pinched sharply with liis nails the part of the 
breast where the incision was to be made. It gave her no 
pain whatever. The patient did not know the precise day 
fixed for the operation, which was April 1^^ 1829. Dr. 
Chapelain put her into the magnetic state, then he strongly 
magnetized the part to be operated on.^* 

Here is the report made on this subject to the Academie 
de M^decine : 

** On the day fixed for the operation, M. Cloqoet, on ar- 
riving at half*past ten, found the patient dressed and sitting 
in an easy-chair in the attitude of a person who has gone 
quietly to sleep. About an hour before she had come from 
raasBj which she regularly attended every day at that hour, 
and Dr, Chapelain had pat her into the magnetic sleep on 
her return home. She had spoken calmly of the operation she 
was to undergo. AH things being ready, she undressed her- 
self and seated herself in a chair, M. Paillonx, an i7iter?ie and 
student at the hospital of Saint Louis, Avas charged with the 
duty of giving the operators their instruments and making 
their ligatures. 

** A first incision made from the arm^pit was directed over 
the tumor, as far as the internal outside surface of the breast ; 
the second, commencing at the same place, went round below 
the tumor and was brought op to join the first. The swollen 
gland was dissected out with precaution, by reason of its 
neighborhood to the auxiliary artery, and the tumor was ex- 
tirpated. The operation lasted from ten to twelve minutes. 

"During the whole time the patient continued to talk quiet- 
ly with the operator, and did not give the smallest sign of pain. 
There was no movement of her limbs or of her features, no 
change in her breathing or her voice, nothing even in her 
pulse showed suffering or even feeling. She remained in 

ill 



THE UNKNOWN 

the same state of abandon and impassibility in which M. 
Cloquet had seen her on his arrival. When the sm^eoD 
washed the skin aroand the wonnd with a sponge wet with 
water, the patient showed symptoms like those produced by 
tickling, and said several times, with a langh, ' Oh don't— 
yon tickle me.' This lady had a daughter married to M. 
Lagandie. Unfortanately she lived in the country and coald 
not reach Paris until several days after the operation had been 
performed. Madame Lagandie was magnetized^ and when in 
a state of somnambalism was remarkably dairvayafUe.** 

XLIV. '' M. Cloquet begged Dr. Chapelain to put Madame 
Lagandie into the magnetic state, and then asked her several 
questions aboat her mother. Her answers were as follows : 
' My mother has been very weak for several days. She only 
lives by magnetism, which sustains her artificially. She has 
no vitality.' * Do you think we can keep your mother alive?* 

* No, she will expire to-morrow morning early, without suffer- 
ing. without a death struggle. ' ' What parts of her are affect- 
ed?' *Her right lung is contracted, and is shrunk. It is 
encircled by a colloid membrane. It is swimming in water. 
But it is there principally,' added the somnambulist, point- 
ing to the inferior angle of the shoulder blade, 'that my 
mother is most suffering from. The right lung is gone ; it is 
dead. The left lung is sound ; it is by means of that that my 
mother lives. There is a little water in the covering of the 
heart (the pericardium).' ' How are the abdominal organs ? 

* The stomach and the intestines are all right. The liver is 
white and discolored on the surface.* 

*^M. Chapelain magnetized the sick woman several times 
in the course of Monday, and barely succeeded in putting her 
to sleep. When he came back on Tuesday, at seven o'clock 
in the morning, she had just exptn^. The two doctors de- 
sin?d to verify the statements of the somnambulist concern- 
ing the condition of the interior of the body, and obtained 
the consent of the family to make the autopsy. M. Moreau, 
secretary to the department of surgery at the academy, and 
Pr. Br»usart were iuTiied to be present. The autopsy was 
cv^nduoted by Dr. Cloquet. and his assistant, M. Pailioux, 

41:} 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 



with the help of Dr. Chapclain, who put Miidatno Lagatulee 
to sleep a little before the time fixed for the antopsy. I will 
not report a scene of the most touching tenderness and filial 
piety daring which the daughter bathed her mother's dead 
face with h«r tears. 

"Dr. Chapehun hastened to calm lier. The doctor's wished 
to hear from her own lips what she had before said she had 
seen in Madame Plantin's body, and the somnambnlist, in a 
firm voice, and without hesitation, repeated what she had 
said already to MM- Cloqiiet and Chapelain. The latter 
then took her into the saion^ which was next to the room 
where they were about to perform the antopsy, and saw that 
the door was tightly closed. Madame Lagandee was still in 
a state of somnambalism, and notwithstanding the barriers 
which separated her from the doctors^ she followed the 
scalpel in the hand of tlie operator, and said to persons round 
her : * Why do they make their ineision in the middle of the 
breast, when the saffusion is on the right ?* 

*'The indications given by Madame Lagandee in her state 
of somnambalism were foond to be exactly correct, and the 
j/roceS'tferbal of tlie antopsy was written by Dr. Bronsarfc* 

'*The witnesses of this casoi adds Brierre de Boismont, are 
all savants; they occupy high rank in the medical world. 
People have interpreted their com mnnieat ions in different 
ways, bnt no one has ever thrown a donbt on their veracity.'* 

Here, too, is an incontestable observation of magnetic 
sight without the intervention of eyes. It is not less curious 
than the removal of the breast without pain, which we have 
also reported, because it was the^?\^/ surgical operation per- 
formed under the influence of magnetism, Brierre de Bois- 
mont adds the following case apropos of sight at a distance : 

XLV. '^A magistrate, a councellor at the court, told me 
the following fact : His wife had a ladies' maid, whose health 
had long been delicate* Magnetic treatment was given to 
her secretly, for her mistress thought that her charitable in- 
tentions woiild not insure her from ridicule had she been 
known to experiment in magnetism. The lady was aided by 
her husband. One day, when the magnetic seance had been 

4ia 



THE UNKNOWN 

attended with mnch pain^ the somnambalist asked for some 
old wine. The husband took a light and went to get some. 
Ue went down to the first story without accident, bnt the 
cellar was deep under-ground ; the steps were wet, he slipped 
down hall the stairs and fell on his back, without, however, 
hurting himself, or even extinguishing the light he carried. 
In spite of his fall he went on, and returned with the wine 
wanted. He found that his wife knew of his fall and of his 
under-ground journey. The somnambulist had told her abont 
them as they happened." 

Here is another example of magnetic sight at a distance: 

XL VI. *'I knew the wife of a colonel of cavalry, whom 
her husband magnetized, and who became a somnambulist 
During her treatment, an indisposition caused her to seek 
the services of an officer of her husband's regiment. Some 
time after, in a magnetic seance, her husband asked her to tell 
them something about this officer. * Ah, poor fellow V she 

cried, * he is at X . He wants to kill himself. He has 

got a pistol, run quick . . . take it away !' The place she 
named was three miles oflf. Some one at once set off on horse- 
back, but when he arrived the unfortunate officer had com- 
mitted suicide." 

Here is another curious instance of clairvoyance in som- 
nambulism, taken from one of the last letters that answered 
my inquiries : 

XLVII. " I am very incredulous as to spiritualism, and I 
was very sceptical about magnetism when the strongest evi- 
dence enlightened me, and convinced me on the latter point. 

" An unmarried lady, thirty-six years old, very honorable, 
of high rank, and with a superior education, lived in my fami- 
ly. She developed a cystic tumor of the ovaries, and refused 
to listen to the doctors who advised an operation. In 1868 
she was one day seized with terrible pains, and Dr. B., being 
called in, feared a fatal issue after a crisis of thirty hours. 
He decided at last to try magnetism. He succeeded in put- 
ting her to sleep and in calming her suffering. 

" The treatment, being continued, seemed to have great in- 
fluence on her malady. Every time that she herself indi- 

414 



M! 



cated the day, hour, and miuute, when the magnetic treat- 
meot should be applied^ there was a fresii auccess. At very 
irregular intervals^ more and more remote from each other as 
time went on, the pains returned. 

'' The doctor noted the indications that she gave him care- 
folly^ in order to magnetize the patient before the attack 
came on. And very soon she seemed relieved again. 

" One night, or rather about three in the morningj the doc- 
tor was sick when the expected attack took place with great 
severity. The nurse who was taking^ care of her knew that I 
had studied magnetic phenomena in the works of Beleuze and 
Baron du Potet, and suggested to me to try to take the place 
of the absent doctor. In truth, I, soon succeeded in putting 
the patient to sleep, and in calming her agitation, as well, if 
not better, than the doctor, for she declared nij magnetic 
fluid was more calming than his. Thia is how, by chance, I 
became acquainted with the property ol magnetismj which I 
had never imagined before. I magnetized her regularly 
every evening in the presence of my mother and a large fami- 
ly, and we witnessed marvellous phenomena of clairvoyance, 

^"'Notwithstanding the great relief experienced by the pa- 
tient, she realized that magnetism was only a means of sooth- 
ing her, and that the development of the cyst made it urgent 
that, if her life was to be saved, an operation ahonld be per- 
formed. It was therefore decided that Mademoiselle de V. 
should go, accompanied by her mother, to be operated upon 
at Strasbourg by Dr. Koeberle, who was famous at that time 
for operations of this kind. The length of such a journey 
for the poor invalid disquieted the doctor, who advised that 
she should take it by easy stages. But when she was con- 
sulted, she said she conld take the whole Journey at once by 
observing the following precautions: It would be necessary 
to take with them several bottles of magnetized water, and 
especially fifteen or a dozen magnetized handkerchiefs, which 
they must be careful to enclose in stout envelopes of magnet- 
ized paper, carefully and hermetically sealed and enclosed in 
such a way as to prevent the contact of any exterior air. 
The patient declared that as soon as she became fatigued, or 

415 



THE UNKNOWN 

if an attack seemed at hand^ her mother must tear ofi 
the envelope from one of the handkerchiefs and pat the 
handkerchief to her forehead, which would bring on sleep, 
and afterwards might apply it to her abdomen, where the 
pain was. 

^' Notwithstanding these assurances, we all remained yery 
uneasy when she departed with her mother. 

''AH passed, however, as the patient had foreseen. The 
journey was accomplished without stopping, using the mag- 
netized handkerchiefs only, and not having recourse to the 
magnetized water. 

^* On reaching Strasbourg, the mother took her daughter 
to the learned surgeon, anc^ then drawing him aside, she gave 
him a memorandum that the doctor (Monsieur B.) had writ- 
ten down from the dictation of the patient. In her sleep she 
had written minutely concerning her case. * My cyst,' she 
said, ' is the size and color of the little yellow balloons that 
children play with. It contains, not fluid, but compact mat- 
ter, which is brown. On one of its sides a new pocket is al- 
ready formed about the size of a very small orange, and on 
the other side another pocket is beginning to develop itself the 
size of a little nut. The cyst is surrounded by adhesions and 
by numerous attachments.' When Monsieur B., her doctor, 
questioned her as to the probability of dangerous hemorrhage 
during the operation, she answered that there was nothing 
from that to be feared ; but when they questioned her as to 
what might be feared from septicsBmia she grew pale, and 
after a moment's silence, she replied, * God only knows.' 

'^This waswhat the memorandum contained that was handed 
to Dr. KoeberlS, who received it with irony and credulity, de- 
claring that he did not believe what she said, and he added, 
as a proof that it was all wrong : 'Your daughter says that 
there are numerous attachments. Now I have just assured 
myself by palpation that there are very few, for the cyst 
floated under pressure. You see, therefore, that what she 
says is purely imaginary,' 

*' The operation, however, was long, and very diflBcnlt, ow- 
ing to the great number of attachments, as the patient had 

416 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 

said, and the aepticsemia having made its appearance, the pa- 
tient died on the third or fourth day. 

"Summoned by the unhappy mother, 1 left lor Stras- 
bourg that I might be with hor under this cruel trial. 
I saw with my own eyes the correctness of all that the patient 
had said concerning the cyst, ivhich, after tlie operation, had 
been preserved, I accompanied the poor mother before she 
left to see the learned Dr. Koeberle^ whom I found absolutely 
disconcerted by the minuteness of the details and predictions 
given by the patient in a state of somnambulism. They had 
overthrown all his ideas. I asked him particularly how his 
examination by palpation had made him suppose there were 
few adhesions when in reality there were so many. He an- 
swered : * It is one of the most extraordinary eases I have 
ever known. Evidently the adhesions were very numerous, 
but they were all long, which permitted the cyst to float un- 
der the pressure of the hand. This made me conclude what 
was quite contrary to the reality. It is all most extraordi- 
nary, for I cannot deny the perfect exactness of all the pre- 
visions and indications of the poor sick woman.' 

"I do not know if Dr. Kceberle is still living, but the re- 
membrance of all these facts must be preserved in the mag- 
nificent hospital (Maison de Santt), presided over by the 
nuns (unfortunately I forget the precise name of their or* 
der), but the hospital must be still in existence. 

*^ Such are the facts in this remarkable case. I can certify 
to them on my word of honor, and they seem to me of a 
nature to be included in your dossier from a point of view 
strictly scientific, C. DB Chatellaed. 

** Marseilles." 

"P.S. — You will permit me to sign with an assumed 
name, for I am very well known at Marseilles, and I occupy 
a prominent situation, so that I should not wish my name 
to be mixed up in any public controversy. 

*'But I send you my real name in confidence, in case you 

should value my declarations, and would like me to send yon 

some others which seem to me to be of great interest from a 

humanitarian and Bcientific stand-point/' [Letter 748. 

2d 417 




THE UNKNOWN 

The same correspondent adds : 

XLVIII. ** One morning when my poor friend was mag- 
netized^ and was calm and clairvoyantey many of the tisnal 
experiments in magnetism had taken place in the presence 
of a large family party, when one of my consins conceived 
the idea of seeing if she could follow and meet with my nn- 
cle, who had started two days before with his son Paul on a 
little tour to visit the property he held in various communes. 
The subject, under the influence of magnetism, declared she 
saw them in a tavern, which her description showed to be 
in a very diflerent village from the one we supposed. She 
declared that the father was talking with a soldier, and that 
his son Paul was rocking himself in a chair before the kitch- 
en fire. Suddenly she burst out laughing and then cried : 
' Ah I M. Paul has just tumbled over backward. Oh, what 
funny contortions he is making ! But he is not hurt.' Be- 
fore the aiance broke up, Paul's sister seized a pen and wrote 
to him to tell them the hour and all particulars of this 
absurd accident. When the account came, it corresponded 
exactly with what we already knew, and Paul and his father 
were much puzzled until their return to imagine how what 
had happened could have been known to us. 

^'If you desire to verify the account I have already sent 
you, either through Dr. Kceberle (if he is still living) or 
through the Maison de Sante, which must either be still at 
Strasbourg or in Prance, I will send you in confidence Ma- 
demoiselle de V.'s real name.*' 

Second letter. 

" Much gratified by the interest you have shown, and the 
thanks you have sent me for my communications, I will sup- 
plement them to-day, confident that you will draw from what 
I tell you instructive deductions. 

" I will go back to the scene at the tavern. One of my 
cousins, who was present, asked me to tell the somnambulist 
to go up to the dining-room. She at once answered, *No! 
not up — there are three steps to go down to get to the dining- 
room.' 

XLIX. ^^ They asked me to send the person magnetized to 

418 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 

chnrch, and ask her to describe a series of beautiful religious 
pictures. Supposing this was all as it should be, from the 
serious tone in which the request was made, I tmnsmitted it 
to the persou in a state of magnetism, I was astonished at 
hearing her laugh loudly and go into a most humorous de- 
scription of these famous pictures. It was a scries of canvases, 
absolutely grotesque, daubed by an inhabitant of the village, 
in which the grouping and the design presented anomalies 
that could only provoke laughter. There was one long burst 
of merriment from those present, who knew the pictures and 
who were amazed at the fidelity with which they were de- 
scribed and their most minute details given, 

^'It seems right to draw certain deductions from the two 
narratives given above, in a scientific point of view, Sava?its 
half convinced, and even magnetizera have maintained that 
in such cases the person magnetized could read such details 
in the thoughts either of the magnetizer or some person 
present, w^hich would exclude the hypothesis of seeing at a 
distance. Now it was not in my thoughts that she could have 
read these things, I wag perfectly ignorant of them. ^ Neither 
were they in the thoughts of the man who asked me to trans- 
mit the two questions, for^ though he may have known some- 
thing of the fantastic nature of the pictures, it was in good 
faith he asked nie to tell lier to go up into the dining-room 
and tell us what she saw there, and other members of the 
family asserted that the person magnetized was right when 
she said there were three steps to go down to get there. 

'^During the long family meetings in which I kept her 
asleep, it once occurred to me to ask her what a remedy was 
made of, which had a queer name and which I had read about 
in a pharmacopia. She gave me at once a complete descrip- 
tion of a plant, with its successive stages, its efflorescence, its 
genus, its family — in short, the most minute botanical descrip- 
tion. Then she added : 'This plant grows on an island. I 
see it It grows in the islands of Oceania.' When we came 



^ We liavG seen both of tliese phenomeim^ thought reading and sight at 
a dmtaace. 

419 



THE UNKNOWN 

to examine the subject all these details were found correct. I 
spent many evenings writing under her dictation a description 
of very many medicinal plants. When she woke up I would 
often turn the conversation casually on some of these plants 
which she had just described^ but she always seemed to 
have no more than a very vague knowledge of them. 

'* One evening I had been questioning her aboqt aconite, of 
which she had given me a description and had pointed out 
the zone in which it grew. She sat thinking for some time, 
plunged in deep thought^ from which I had some trouble to 
rouse her ; and she ended by answering me in these words, 
which I want to repeat literally ^ because my memory was so 
much impressed by them. Bousing herself from deep medita- 
tion, she said : ' It is true. I am not mistaken. But how 
does it happen that no one has yet found a remedy for that 
frightful disorder, cancer ? I see the plant that can cure. It 
comes from the same region as aconite/ She then gave us an 
exact description of it, which lasted through several s£ances, 
adding that its virtue might be tested by innoculating an ani- 
mal with it, especially a dog. The active principle obtained 
from it by maceration would produce a wound very similar to 
cancer. 

'^ I have several times tried to induce doctors and botanists 
to search for this plant, but with no success. One learned 
botanist told me that from the description I gave him, he 
thought it might be something like Oxiria dygina. 

" Inhere send you the literal description of this plant, writ- 
ten down from the dictation of the person magnetized. You, 
whose name and researches in science do honor to our coun- 
try, will know better than I how to push such an inquiry to 
the bottom and to verify what maybe the foundation for the 
hope that it could cure. What glory you would add to your 
name if, like Pasteur, you could succeed in giving such an 
inestimable benefit to the human race I 

" Everybody knows that the most remarkable clairvoyants, 
under magnetic influence, sometimes fail— especially women, 
at certain times, or when they are under pathological influ- 
ences. But I have no reason to doubt that this lady's aflirma- 

420 



DISTANT SIGHT IN DREAMS 



I 



tions as to a remedy for cancer are not as correct as other 
things elie said. Her earnestness, her spontaneity, her long 
meditation before saying what she did about it, and her 
ardent desire to see human snflEering relieved, greatly im- 
pressed me, and make me belieye her declarations. 

"However, if yon wish to quote my communications in 
your publications, I am very desirous that you should not 
mention this last, which is the only one I hare sent you that 
has not been verified/^ 

I have allowed myself the privilege of not abetting the re- 
serve of my honorable correspondent, for I never could have 
either time or ability to occupy myself with this question, 
and perhaps some doctor or physiologist may here find an in- 
dication which he can utilize for the benefit of humanity/ 
Since sight at a distance and divination are possible, let us 



^DemHption of the plant.— It is an lierbacfioua plant, forming a bou- 
quet of spatuiated leaves, which sire very large and lender ; they are of 
a green color, which is neither very light nor very dark, but inclines Id 
light. It is most nnalogous to sorrel The leaves are entirely smooth, 
and not pointed ; they are thin, and contain a greeniBli juice which la 
very active, and is found in yet more nljundance in the tall stalk, whieb 
la fifty ceotimetres in length, about the tbickncsa of a finger, aud dimin- 
ishes from below upward. This stalk appears in the midst of the leaves 
at the lime of effiorescenco. The flowers, before they bloom, appear as 
reddish buds, which are hardly visible ; tbey become greenish when ihey 
open, and extend all along the tall stem. Tliis stem is entirely devoid of 
leaves. The plant grows upon the slope of a mountain, probably in 
Switzerland* It extends into the higher regions, just below the snow ; 
lUeGlacial ranunculus is found Just above it. It grows in a reddish, dry, 
and friable soil, where vegetation is scimty and stunted* 

The stalk resembles that of sorrel ; it bears flowers once in the year — 
in June ; the stalk remabis until the winter, wlien it dries up^ all the 
flowers become little black seeds, whieb fall to the ground, and the 
leaves die ; tiro root remains, and in the spring the leaves sprout* 

Probably this plant belongs to the Polygonum family. It is a dkoty 
ledmwus plant. Aconite comes from the same region. The covering of 
the flower is reddish before it open a ; on blossoming It becomes green isb. 
The stem is entirely covered witb flowers. The flow^er greatly resembles 
Wxhiot Lapaihum, 

Some days afterwards the lady was shown a Polygonxim alpinum from 
the Yalais, nod she said; The plant in question differs from this which 

421 




THE UNKNOWN 

disdain nothings and^ collecting all facts which may hereafter 
be turned to use, let us deny nothing. 

you show me ; the flower is still smaller, thicker, and more oily ; it does 
not dry up so easily. la addition, the plant I speak of is greenish while 
this is more white. 

The leaf is less pointed, and in particular it is less woody and more 
herbaceous. 

Taken altogether, the plant is thicker in all its parts, even in the ex- 
tremity. It approaches more nearly to the family of knot-grawes. 



CHAPTER IX 



PREMONITORY BEEAM9 AND DIVI:N"ATI0N OF THE FUTUfiE 



The class of dreams which is perhaps most curious and 
most difficult of explanation is that which shows us a fact, a 
Bit nation, a state of affairs not yet existent, but which is, 
nevertheless, completely realized in a more or less distant 
future. 

This boldly stated seems absurd and contradictory ; it does 
not, therefore, find ready acceptance with those who take ap- 
pearances for realities, and the relative for the absolute, and 
who do not comprehend that the future can be determined 
in advance by the connection of causes and of snccessive ef- 
fects. 

Before entering npon the philosophic analysis of a problem 
which touches upon the greatest diiiiculties concerned in our 
knowledge of material things, let ns first inquire whether 
dreams through which, in some way the future is revealed, 
really exist and are worthy of belief. It is absolutely neces- 
sary that this fact should bo established at the beginning of 
our investigations, for to proceed without it would be to in- 
dulge in vague speculation which is a book of superogation. 

I do not hesitate to affirm at the outset that the occurrence 
of dreams foretelling future events with accuracy must be ac- 
cepted as certain. It is not fiction witli which we are con- 
cerned; nor can the realization of this kind of dream be ex- 
plained by the fortuitous coincidences which we call chance. 

In the preceding chapter we considered dreams which 
revealed what was passing at a distance at the moment of its 
occurrence. Analogous facta are obscured in certain cases of 
hypnotism, of magnetism, of somnambulism, and of spiritual- 

423 




THE UNKNOWN 

istic experiences. These experiences^ therefore^ constitnte a 
species of preface^ leading up naturally to the question we 
are about to examine. 

I will begin by quoting two dreams whose absolute authen- 
ticity I can vouch for. They were both experienced by my 
mother under circumstances which diJSered widely in the two 
cases; she has just related them to me for^ perhaps^ the twen- 
tieth time. 

'^ The date of the first was at a time when she had not yet 
come to Paris. My parents lived in the small town of Mon- 
tigny-le-Boi (Haute-Marne). I had begun my studies at 
Langres^ and they had decided to leave the country for the 
capital^ actuated above all by the desire to open to their 
children the most secure and most promising career. A fort- 
night before their departure my mother dreamed that she had 
arrived in Paris, and that she crossed the wide streets and 
reached a canal, across which there was an elevated bridge. 
Some little time after her actual arrival in Paris, she went to 
pay a visit to one of her relations who lived in the Rue Fon- 
taine-aU'Roiy in the Faubourg du Temple, and upon reaching 
the canal she was very much surprised to recognize the 
bridge, the quay, the whole appearance of the neighborhood, 
of which it was impossible that she could have had any 
knowledge, either by means of pictures or in any other way. 

" This dream is very diflScult to explain. It would seem to 
prove that the mind is able to see at a distance, and during the 
night, details which conform by day to the image remaining 
in the brain. This, however, is hard to believe. I should 
prefer to suppose that persons who had come from Paris had 
told my mother of the existence of this kind of bridge, and 
that she had forgotten their account which reappeared in the 
dream. But my mother affirms positively that no one ever 
spoke to her of either the Paris canal or the suspension 
bridges. 

'^ Here is her second dream: 

'' During a certain summer, one of my sisters had gone 
with her husband and her children to live in the little town 
of Nogent (Haute-Marne) ; my father had accompanied them 

424 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 



$ 



I 



and my mother remained in Paris. All the children were in 
good health, and no one felt any nneasiness in regard to them. 
My mother dreamed that she received a letter from my father, 
in which she read this sentence : ^ I am the hearer of a sad 
piece of news ; little Henri has just died in convulsions, 
with hardly any previous illness.* My mother, on awakening, 
said to herself : ' It is nothing but a dream ; it is all imag- 
ination and deception.^ A week afterwards a letter from 
my father contained precisely this very phrase. My poor 
sister had just lost her youngest child in consequence of 
convulsions. 

" In the former of these two dreams, it is possible, as we 
said before, to find an explajiation, as a last resort, in infor- 
mation forgotten but latent in the brain. This is, however, 
extremely improbable, since my mother is snre that she never 
heard of such bridges. But as regards the second dream, 
what explanation can be given T' 

My lamented friend, Dr. Macario, the author of a valuable 
work on Le Sommeilf les Rhves et le JSomnambtiUmne, of which 
I have already spoken, writes the following fact which hap- 
pened in his family : 

'^Madame Macario, he said, set out on the 6th of July, 
1854, for Bourbon .FAochambault, in order to take baths for 
a rheumatic affection. One of her coasins. Monsieur 0.» who 
lives at Moulins, and who is in the habit of dreaming that 
things which are a little unusual happen to him, had the fo!- 
lowing dream on the night preceding my wife*s journey : He 
saw Madame Macario, accompanied by her little girl, take 
the railroad to reach the watering-place at Bourbon, When 
he awoke, he bogged his wife to prepare to receive two cous- 
ins whom she did not yet know, 

"'They will arrive this very day at Moulins,' he added, 
* and they will set out this evening for Bourbon. I hope they 
will not fail to come and see ns/ 

"My wife and my daughter did actually arrive at Moulins 
at the time expected ; but, as the weather was very bad (it 
rained in torrents), they went to the house of a friend, which 
was near the railway station, and (as time failed them) they 

425 



THE UNKNOWN 

did not go to call on their cousin^ who lived in a very distant 
part of the town. Ho was not at all disconraged. 

" ' They will come to-morrow/ he thought. 

'* But this time, .also, he was deceived in his expectations. 

*' We have already remarked that Monsieur O. was in the 
habit of having his dreams come true ; and being, therefore, 
persuaded that the information contained in his dream was 
correct, he went to the office of the diligence that ran be- 
tween Moulins and Bourbon, in order to inquire whether a 
lady, whom he described, with her daughter, had not set out 
for Bourbon. He received an affirmative answer. He then 
asked whether the lady had stopped at Moulins, and learned 
that all the particulars of his dream were correct. 

" Before I conclude, may I be permitted to remark that 
Monsieur 0. had no knowledge of either the illness or the 
journey of Madame Macario, whom he had not seen for sev- 
eral years. ^' * 

The doctor adds, in this connection, the following fact : 

"On Thursday, the 7th of November, 1850, at the moment 
when the coal -miners at Belfast were about to begin their 
work, the wife of one of them advised him to examine care- 
fully the ropes of the basket, or cage, in which he was about 
to descend to the depths of the pit. 

" ^ I dreamed,' she said, ' that they cut it during the night.' 

" The miner did not, at first, attach great importance to 
this advice ; nevertheless, he communicated it to his com- 
rades. They unrolled the descending cable, and there, to the 
great surprise of all, they found it hacked in several places. 
Some moments later the workmen would have gotten into the 
basket, from which they would inevitably have been thrown ; 
and, if the Ifetocastle Journal is to be believed, they owed 
their safety to this dream." 

> Without, for a moment, doubting the absolute sincerity of Dr. Ma- 
cario, which I have proved under all circumstances, I must remark that 
it is greatly to be regretted that this Monsieur O. was too much prej- 
udiced to venture to sign his observations and convictions. What lea- 
son can there be for such narrowness of mind ? What is there in this 
dream which could compromise an honest man ? 

426 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 



At the time of my entrance into jonrnalismj in Paris, I had 
for my colleague, on the SUde, a cliarming writer and a very 
interesting man, whose name was fimile dela Bedolli^re, His 
marriage had been the result of a premonitory di*eam. 

" In a little town in the centre of France, at La Charitt- 
Bnr«Loire, department of the Ni^vre, there was a young girl 
of ravishing grace and beauty. She, like Baphael's Pornarina, 
was the daughter of a baker. Several suitors aspired to her 
hand, one of whom had a great fortune. The parents pre- 
ferred this young man. But Mademoiselle Angela Robin did 
not like him, and refused him. 

^' One day, driven to extremity by the persistence of her 
family, she went to church and prayed the Holy Virgin to 
come to her aid. The following night she saw, in a dream, 
a young man in the dress of a traveller, wearing a large straw 
hat and spectacles. On awakening, she declared to her pa- 
rents that she absolutely refused her suitor, and that she 
should wait, which caused them a thousand conjectures. 

^'The following summer the young Emile de la Bedolliire 
was induced by one of his friends, Eug6ne Lafanre, a law 
student, to make a journey into the interior of France. They 
stopped at La Charity, and went to a subscription ball. On 
their arrival the young girFs heart beat tumultuously, her 
cheeks colored a deep red ; the young traveller observed her, 
admired her, loved her, and some months afterwards they 
were married. It was the first time in his life that he had 
visited that village,'* 

This curious matrimonial history is not unique. I could 
cite several others which are similar, and I do not think I 
am indiscreet in adding that one of our most celebrated con- 
temporary astronomers, M, Janssen, was seen in a dream by 
Madame Janssen a long time before they were introduced to 
each other* 

Alfred Maury cites a similar case, but he explains it by his 
tlieory of images in the memory. This certainly does not 
apply to the marriage of De la B6dolli6re, and it undoubtedly 
cannot be applied to the one in question* '* Monsieur P.," he 
writes, *'an old librarian of the legislative corps, has assured 

427 




THE UNKNOWN 

me that be saw in a dream the woman whom he married al- 
most immediately after ; and that she was^ nevertheless, un- 
known to him, or at least he felt confident that he had never 
actually seen her ; this is^ in all probability, a case of nncon- 
scions memory." 

The en*or of theorists is that they wish to explain every- 
thing, to confine everything within the limits they themselves 
liave set. Li all probability, in the light of our new psychic 
investigations, Alfred Manry here deceives himself. 

M. A. Ooupil, civil engineer at Cognac, has communicated 
to ns the following fact : 

''At Tanis, between the post office and the Caf6 de 
France, lives a French hair-dresser, whose name I have for- 
gotten. One morning, in the summer of 1891, I played a 
game of billiards with him ; this game being finished, I pro- 
posed a second. ' No,' he said, * I am expecting the doctor, 
and I want to know what he has to say.' 'Are you, then, ill 
in any way P' * No, but I have a little nephew whose age is 
— eleven years, I think; he had yesterday an hallucina- 
tion ; he rose up all at once crying : " Here is a woman who 
wishes to take my little cousin (a little girl some months 
old) ; I don't want her to be carried off P This idea lasted 
some little time, and we could not make him believe that it 
was a dream.' ' Is he subject to hallucinations ?' ' No.' 
' Is he well ?' ' Yes ; but I am afraid that this occurrence 
must be an indication of a fever.' 'Is your little girl well ? 
' Yes ; very well.' I put this last question because it had 
just passed through my head that the meaning of the vision 
was that the little one was going to die before long. I said 
nothing of my thought to the man, however, and he left me. 
The next day I asked him what news. All his little world 
was going on well. The next day after the same question 
and the same answer ; the third day the same question and 
still the same answer. He seemed much surprised at the 
interest which I appeared to take in these children, whom I 
did not know. Three days passed without my seeing him. 
Meeting him the day following in the street, I asked him if 
the children still continued well. ' You know,' he said to 

428 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 

me, ^ that we have loat my little girl ; she was taken from 
us in a moment/ (I believe lie saitl that it was from cronp.) 
' No/ I said, ' I did not know it, but I expected it/ ' Why f 
'Yes; it was a woman who carried her away/ *What 
woman?' *She whom yoor nephew saw; she represented 
death, illness, whatever you please ; it must have been a 
prophetic halhicination/ 

'^I left the man much astonished ; he could testify to this 
narrative, at any rate, aloBg its principiil lines, for he was very 
much surprised at my remarks, and he must remember them/' 

Can chance be called in here ? No* There is something 
in all this which is unknown to ns, but which is real, 

A former magistrate, who is now a Deputy, M, Bfrard, has 
published a moving recital, which appeared in the Bevae ties 
Revues for the ISfch of September, 1S95 ; 

**At a period, about ten years ago, I was a magistrate. I 
had just ended the long and laborious trial of a horriblo 
crime, which had carried terror all over the country; day 
and night for several weeks I had seen corpses, blood, and 
murderers, both sleeping and waking, 

** With my miud still nnder the burden of these sickening 
recollections, I had gone for rest to a little watering-place, 
a sleepy village, sad and dull, without any flaring casino, 
without any mail-coach arrivals, at the foot of our richly 
wooded mountains, 

'* Every day I wandered through the forests of oaks, 
mingled with which were beeches and great ta!l pines. In 
these wandering excursions it sometimes happened that I 
lost myself completely, in consequence of losing sight of the 
tall summits by which I was in the habit of finding my way 
in the direction of my hotel. 

^^ Night was falling when I emerged from the forest on a 
solitary road, which crossed the narrow opening between two 
high mountains ; the descent was rapid, and in the gorge 
beside the road there was only a little stream, which fell 
over the rocks towards the plain in a multitude of cascades. 
On both sides was the gloomy forest, wrapped in iniiuite 
silence. 

429 



THE UNKNOWN 

^^A sign-post on the road indicated that the town was 
rather more than five miles distant. This was the direction 
for me to take^ bat fatigued by six hours of walking, and 
suffering from hunger, I was anxious for a resting-place and 
an immediate dinner. 

*'A few yards distant an humble inn (entirely isolated, 
and the regular stopping-place for wagoners) displayed a 
worm-eaten sign, 'Au kendez-vous des amis.' I entered it. 

*^The only room was smoky and dark. The host was of 
herculean stature ; his face was bad, his complexion yellow. 
His wife, who was small and dark, was almost in rags, re- 
ceived me on my arrival with a sly and squinting glance. 

^'I asked for something to eat, and, if possible, to go to 
bed. After a scanty — very scanty — supper, taken under the 
suspicious and very inquisitive eyes of tbe host, by the light 
of a miserable lamp, which gave miserable light, but sent 
forth smoke and nauseating odors, I followed the hostess, 
who conducted me through a long passage and up a steep 
staircase into a dilapidated chamber, situated above the 
stable. The host, his wife, and myself were entirely alone in 
this forlorn hovel in the forest, far from any village. 

''I have a prudence which is sometimes carried to the 
point of fear, and which arises from my profession, which 
obliges me constantly to consider past crimes and possible as- 
sassinations. I carefully examined my room after having 
locked the door. It had a bed, or rather a pallet, two rick- 
ety chairs, while almost concealed behind some hangings was 
a door provided with a lock without a key. I opened this 
door. It led to a sort of ladder which plunged into empty 
space. In order to hold the door, in case any one attempted 
to open it from the outside, I put before it a kind of table of 
white wood, on which was a cracked basin for toilette pur- 
poses. Beside this I placed one of the two chairs. Under 
these circumstances no one could open the door without 
making a noise. And then I went to bed. 

"It will be easily believed that after such a day I slept pro- 
foundly. All at once I woke up with a start. It seemed to 
me that some one was opening the door, and that in opening 

430 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 



it tliey puslied tlie table. I even thought that I perceived 
the glimmer of a lamp, a kiitern, or a candle through the 
key-hole. Much excited^ I raised myself upright in the 
vagueness of a sudden awakening, and I cried out, ' Who is 
there?* No answer. Silence and complete obscurity. I 
must be dreaming, I thought, or else be the victim of some 
strange illusion* 

** For long hours I remained eleepleas, as if under the in- 
fluence of a vague terror. Then fatigue got the better of 
fear, and I fell into a heavy and uncomfortable sleep, inter- 
rupted by nightmares. 

^*I believed that I saw, I did see in my sleep, the chamber 
where I was, and in the bed some one, either myself or an- 
other, which it was I did not know* The secret door opened 
of itself. The host entered, a long knife in his hand. Be- 
hind, on the threshold of the door, stood his wife, dirty and 
in rags, shading the light from the lantern with her black 
fingers. The host approached the bed with a cat-like step, 
and plunged his knife into the heart of the sleeper. Then 
he lifted the corpse by the feet, his wife took it by the head, 
and they both descended the narrow ladder. But here oc- 
curs a curious detail. The husband held between his teeth 
the slender ring which supported the lantern, and the two 
murderers descended the narrow stairs by the dim light of 
the lantern, I awoke with a start, in terror, and with my 
forehead bathed in sweat. The rays of the August sun 
seemed to pour into the room through the broken shutters. 
This, no doubt, was the light of the lanteru. I saw only 
the hostess, silent and cunning, and I escaped joyfully from 
that obscure inn as if it had been the infernal regions, in or- 
der to breathe the pure air of the pines on the dusty road 
under the blazing sun amid the cries of the birds, festive 
and happy. 

'^I thought no more of my dream. Three years after- 
wards I read in a newspaper an item expressed almost exact- 
ly in these words : * The visitors and the population of X 

are very much excited by the sudden and incomprehensible 
disappearance of M. Victor Arnand, advocate, who set out 

431 



THE UNKNOWN 

for a walk of some hoars about a week ago^ and ^ever re- 
turned to the hotel. Conjecture has exhausted itself on this 
strange disappearance/ 

"Why did some strange connection of ideas lead my mind 
back to my dream at my hotel. I do not know, but this as- 
sociation of ideas connected themselves yet more strongly 
when^ three days after, the same newspaper contained the 
following lines : * Traces of M. Victor Amand have been 
partly discovered. On the evening of the 24th of August he 
was seen by a wagoner close to a lonely inn : *' Au rendez- 
vous des Amis.'' He intended to pass the night there ; the 
host whose reputation is most suspicious, and who up to to- 
day has preserved silence in regard to his guest, has been in- 
terrogated. He claims that the latter left him that same 
evening, and did not sleep at his house. In spite of this af- 
firmation strange stories are beginning to circulate in the 
neighborhood. Another traveller of English extraction who 
disappeared six years ago is spoken of. Furthermore, a lit- 
tle shepherdess claims to have seen the wife of the host 
throw some bloody cloths into a pool hidden in the woods on 
the 26th of August. There is here a mystery which should 
be elucidated.' 

" I could restrain myself no longer, and impelled by ariin- 
vincible force, which convinced me in spite of myself that 
my dream had become a terrible reality, I went to the town. 

'^ The magistrates who had taken up the matter in conse- 
quence of public opinion were investigating it without any 
precise data. I happened to go to the oflSce of my colleague, 
the juge tTinstmction, on the very day that he heard the 
deposition of my former hostess. I asked his permission to 
remain in his office during this deposition. 

*' The woman did not recognize me on entering, and paid 
no attention whatever to my presence. 

" She stated that a traveller, who answered to the descrip- 
tion of M. Victor Arnaud, had really come to her inn on the 
evening of the 24th of August, but that he had not spent 
the night. There were, she added, only two chambers in the 
inn, and upon the night in question they had both been oc- 

482 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 



1^ 



cupied by wngoilers, who had given their evidence and testi- 
fied to the fact. 

"'And the third chamber, the one over the stable?^ I 
cried, interposing suddenly. 

"The hostess gave a start, and appeared to recognize me 
all at once, as if I were a sudden revelation. 1 couthiited 
with audacious effrontery^ and as if I was inspired : ' Victor 
Arnaud slept in that third chamber. During the night you 
came with your husband, you holding a lantern, he a long 
knife ; you climbed up by a ladder from the stable ; you 
opened a secret door ivhieh led into that chamber ; you 
yourself remained on the threshold of the door while your 
husband went to mnrtler his guest, before robbing him of his 
Tvatch and his pocket-book/ 

*^It was my dream of three years before which I narrated; 
my colleague listened aghast ; as for the woman, overpowered 
by terror, with her eyes staring and her teeth chattering, she 
stood as if petrified, 

'^^Then/ I continned, 'you took up the corpse, your 
husband holding it by the feet ; you descended the ladder 
with it. In order that you might have light, your husband 
carried the ring of the lantern between his teeth/ 

** And then the woman, terrified, pale, with her legs shak- 
ing under her, said : *' You saw it all, then V 

" Afterwards refusing savagely to sign her deposition, she 
shut herself np in absolute silence. 

'* When my colleague read my recital to the husband, 
the latter, believing himself to have been betrayed by his 

wife, cried out with a horrible oath : ' Ah ! the , she 

shall pay me for this !' 

*^ My dream, only too true, had become a gloomy and fear- 
ful reality, 

*'In the stable of the inn, under a thick heap of manure, 
the corpse of the unfortunate Victor Arnaud was found, and 
beside him were human bones, which were perhaps those of 
the Englishman who had disappeared six years previously 
under identical and equally mysterious conditions. 

'' And I — had I been intended to share the same fate ? Dur- 

48d 



THE UNKNOWN 

ing the night when I dreamed, had I really heard the secret 
door open, had I really seen the light through the key-hole ? 
Or had it been entirely a dream, mere imagination and logo- 
brious presentiment ? I do not know, but I cannot think 
without a certain terror of the obscure inn, lost in the ex- 
tent of the high road, in the midst of the pine woods, and 
contrasting so strangely with the beauty of nature, with the 
brook and its murmuring cascades, whose tiny drops sparkled 
like diamonds in the sun.'' 

This narrative is so eloquent that we may dispense with 
any commentary. We cannot suppose that its author, a 
former magistrate, invented it for the pleasure of writing a 
dramatic story, however admirably told; still, the thing is not 
impossible. Perhaps M. B6rard could himself furnish irre- 
futable testimony in corroboration if he would look into the 
dossier of the Victor Arnaud affair. 

Madame A. Vaillant sent me from Foncquevillers (Pas de 
Calais) a curious narrative of a premonitory dream, and three 
very remarkable cases of telepathy, which by an inadvertence, 
due undoubtedly to the largo quantity of letters received, I could 
not insert earlier. Without returning to the subject of telep- 
athy, I would say that the first concerns the precise view of 
a death which took place in 1794 on the shores of the Rhine 
at Arras. The second tells of an apparition and a voice heard 
at Bapaume by two sepamte persons ; it concerned a hasband 
and father who died the same day in Austria (1796). The 
third tells how a young girl living in a Scotch castle ran down 
stairs and at the bottom of the staircase saw her uncle lying 
covered with blood, who had at that moment been mnrdered 
in London (1796). Here is the premonitory dream. 

*' A few years ago, in a town at the North, a new vicar was 
appointed to a certain parish. A person well known to 
Madame Vaillant dreamed some days before that this vicar, 
who was a Monsieur G., would preach next Sunday on such 
a subject, that his sister would sit before him; and all the 
particulars in her dream were exactly what happened on 
Sunday.^' 

Letter 103. 
434 




PREMONITORY DREAMS 

Here is another premonitory dream^ reported by an honora- 
ble ecclesiastic. 

'*I was at school inNiort. I was fifteen or sixteen years 
old. One night I had a singular dream. I fancied that I 
was at Saint Maixent (a town that I only knew by name) 
with my school-master. We were on a little square near a 
well, opposite to which was a drugstore, and we saw coming 
towards us a' lady of that place, 
whom I recognized, because I had 
seen her once at Niort, in a house ^ 

where I was staying. This lady //JL y^n 

when she accosted us began to 
speak of such extraordinary things 
that in the morning I mentioned 
the matter to my master. (The head of that school was 
called le patron,) He was very much astonished, and made 
me repeat the conversation. A few days after, having to go 
to Saint Maixent, he took me with him. Hardly had we ar- 
rived there before we found ourselves on the square that I 
had seen in my dream, and we saw the same lady coming 
towards us, who had with my master the same conversation, 
word for word, as in my dream. 

*^ Gkoussard, 
" Cure of Sainto Radegonde." 

One does not see how chance could have had anything to 
do with such a precise premonition. 

My inquiry has brought in great number of premonitory 
dreams. I have classed them by themselves, and I will ask 
my readers to permit me to here quote the principal ones, and 
add them to the preceding, in order that they may have in 
their hands all the pi^es de conviction. 

XII. '* I will introduce myself as Pierre Jules Barthelay, 
born at Yssoire, Puy-de-Ddme, on October 25, 1825, a former 
pupil in the Lyc6e at Clermont, priest in the diocese of Cler- 
mont in 1850, vicar for eight years at Saint Eutrope (Cler- 
mont), and three times made an army chaplain by the Minis- 
try of War. 

485 



THE UNKNOWN 

** (1) After three years of laborious ministry I was very 
mach worn out^ all the more because I had to serve as super- 
intendent over the constmction of the beantif al church of 
Saint Eutrope at Clermont. For four years I looked after the 
workmen from ten o'clock in the morning, from the water in 
the foundation to the cross on the top of the steeple. I put 
the three last slates on the roof. Our professor, M. Vincent, 
in order to give me a change, made me come to Lyons, where 
I had never been. One of the first days I was there he said at 
breakfast : * M. TAbbfi, will you accompany me ? I am going 
to see our forests at Saint- Just -Doizieux.' I accepted his 
invitation. We started in a carriage. After having passed 
Saint-Paul-en-Jarret, I uttered an exclamation: 'Oh! but I 
know all this country!' and in fact I would have gone all over 
it without a guide. About a year before I had seen in my 
sleep all these little terraces made of yellow stone. 

" (2) I returned to my diocese, but was sent to the moun- 
tains in the West to fulfil a difficult mission, which was too 
great for my strength. I was ill seven months at Clermont. 
At last, being on my legs again, they sent me to the Hospi- 
tal of Saint- Ambert, to take the place of the Chaplain, who 
had had congestion of the brain. The railroad to Saint- Am- 
bert was not then built, so I took my place in the coupS of the 
diligence which ran between Clermont and Ambert. After 
passing Billom, I looked to the right, and recognized the lit- 
tle castle, toitk its avenue of willows, as well as if I had lived 
there. I had seen it in my sleep as much as eighteen months 
before. 

*' (3) We were in Vannee terrible. My mother, who had 
seen the allies marching through the streets of Paris, is a 
widow. She claims mo as the prop of her old age. They 
gave me a little parish near Yssoire. The first time I went 
to see a sick parishioner, I found myself in narrow lanes be- 
tween high, dark walls, but I could perfectly find my way. I 
had, in my sleep, some months before, passed through this 
network of dark alleys, 

" (4) Events, quite independent of my will, took me to 
Biom; there I presumed I should feel as if I were in a 

436 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 



strange country. What was my surprise to find an old ac- 
quaintance in the clmpel tliat my colleague, the Abbe Fanre, 
had bnilt for the soldiers. I bad never seen it with my eyes, 
and had not even known that it existed ! I made a drawing 
of it, which I send you, as if I were still employed in superin- 
tending ecclesiastical architecture. ^ 

'^Bertiielay, 
'■ Riora (Piiy^e-D0me)." ^^^^^ ^^^ 

XVL *' At the beginning of September, 1870, at the water- 
ing-place of Weymouth (England), 1 was awakened about two 
o'clock iu the morning, between a Thursday and a Friday^ 
by a mysterious voice, which said, very distinctly, * Jump out 
of bed and pray for those at aea.' Almost at the same mo- 
ment, the Captain, a first-class English iron-clad, was lost in 
the Bay of Biscay » Three hundred men were drowned. The 
rest of the squadron came safe into Portland Roada^ near 
Wey month. The public being permitted to go on board and 
inspect these vessels, I took advantage of the opportunity, 
and so did my brother. Seven years later, September 9, 1877, 
this brother himself perished in the wreck of the Avalanche^ 
in the same Portland Roads. 

" Maky C* Deittschemdaff, 
" Wife of the Protestant Pastor at Chaiieville (Ardennes)/* 
Letter Sa 

XVII. "The following fact was related to me by one of 
my old comrades, now ninety -one years of age, who was a 
matter-of-fact person, and in no way inclined to mysticism. 

" One evening, about 1835, he was at work in his chamber, 
at Strasbourg. Soddenly he had a very distinct vision of 
Morey, his native village. The street on which his father's 
house stood presented an animation unusual at that hour, and 
he recognized several persons, among whom was a relation 
carrying a lantern. 

"'Some days after this,' he told me, 'I received news of 

' This letter waa uccompanied by four drawings of landscapes and 
buildliij^s seen in ilrcams. 

437 



A 



THE UNKNOWN 

my mother's death, which had happened that same eTBning, 
and in presence of tJie very persona I had seen. What was 
more singular, it was my mother's mother who had held the 
lantern/ 

'^ Snch facts^ no doubt, are at present inexplicable, bat that 
is no reason why we should treat them scornfully* Let us 
seek and wait. The future has many surprises in store for 
us, and will throw light on many mysteries. 

** What is it in us that thinks ? We undoubtedly do not 
know, but we can suppose that it may correspond to a certain 
determined number of vibrations. Let us say, if you like, a 
million of quintillions per second. The brain which emits 
these vibrations is at the same time transmitter and receiver. 
It is possible that, under the influence of intense excitement, 
these vibrations may be capable of carrying impressions to 
an enormous distance and acting upon other nervous cells. 

^^And if the phenomena of telepathy are above all pro- 
duced by the dying, we know that often, as the last moment 
draws near, the brain exhibits extraordinary activity. On the 
other hand those who receive impressions are generally such 
as are sensitive, nervous, and, in one word, impressionable. 
In short, affection, hatred, or anxiety, may assist in putting 
two persons who feel alike into a state of cerebral iso- 
chronism. 

** Without falling into the domain of the supernatural or 
the impossible, a day, perchance, may come — ^but as yet it 
seems far off — ^when men will look upon the telephone and the 
telegraph as primitive and barbarous means of holding inter- 
course at a distance. These men may, by the force of their 
own wills, send their thoughts through space. That will be 
indeed an upheaval for an ancient world. 

"Db. Deve. 

"Fouvent-le-Haut, Haute Seine.** 

Letter 26. 

XVIII. " Last year, in the month of September, I had, one 
night, a distinct vision of the funeral of a child, which left a 
house in which I knew the inhabitants; only in my dream I 
could not tell which of the children it might be. 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 

'* The dream stayed in my memory all day; I tried in vain 
to get it oat of my head, when in the evening one of the 
children living in that house, a child of the age of four, fell 
cci den tally into a water-tank and was drowned. 

"^MILE BOISMARD. 

" Seicbes, MQiae-et-Loire." 

Letter 53. 

XIX. " My oldest hrother, ifimite ZipelinSj an artist, died 
on September W, 18G5, twenty -five years of age ; ho was 
drowned while bathing in the Moselle. He lived, in Paris, 
hot he was then visiting his parents at Pompey, near ^N^ancy. 
My mother had dreamed twice, at wide intervals, that this 
son wonld be drowned. 

'* When the person cliarged to bear the terrible news to hts 
parents camo to inform them, mj mother^ feeling snro that 
he came to annonnco some misfortune, first asked could it be 
anything ahont an absent dangliter, from whom she had had 
no news for several days. When he told her that it was 
nothing about her daughter, she said : ' Don't tell me, then* 
I know what it is. My son is drowned/ We had had a let- 
ter from him that same day, so that nothing could have led 
ns to foresee such a catastrophe. 

*' My brother himself had said to his concierge a short 
time before : ' If any night I do not como home, go next 
day to the morgue and look for me. I have a presentiment 
that I shall die in the water. I dreamed that I was nnder 
water, dead, with my eyes open/ That was just how they 
found him. He had died under water from the rupture of 
an aneorigm. My mother and father were convinced that 
that was how he would meet his death. That same day ho 
had at first refused to bathe in the Moselle, but towards 
evening he was tempted by the coolness of the water, and was 
thus taken away from all who loved him. 

*^ J. Vogelsang Zipelius. 



"Mulliouge/' 



Letter 137. 



XX, '' Several years ago, for six months I dreamed, at 
least once a week, that I was obliged to leave my children by 

439 



THE UNKNOWN 

themselves while I went out to work in an ofiSce^ to which I 
had to run for fear of being late; and the fatigue and the 
anxiety would wake me^ when I would perceiye with pleasure 
that it was nothing but a foolish dream, and that through my 
husband, who had then a good position, we had a modest 
competence, enough for our needs. 

" Alas ! before the year was out my dream became 
reality. 1^^^, igj Ci^ikb.^' 

XXI. " On the 26th of November, 1860, having gone out 
to sea in a fishing-boat, about four in the afternoon, we were 
coming back, and were not twenty yards from shore, when 
one of my friends owned to me that in a dream the night be- 
fore he bad been warned that he would be drowned that 
day. 

^'I reassured him, telling him that in ten minutes we 
should be on land. 

** A few moments after this our boat capsized, and two of 
my friends were drowned, one of whom was the one already 
mentioned. We did all we could to save them. The broth- 
er of my friend, L. (the man who dreamed the dream) is still 
a lawyer at Havre, where the sad accident took place. (You 
could consult the Havre newspapers of November 26, 1860.) 

'' E. B. 

*' 78 Rue de PhftUbourg, Havre." 

Letter 194. 

XXII. (A) ** One day last April, when I was occupied 
studying the subject of chalk, I dreamed that I found a pol- 
ished pebble in the chalk-pit of Brocles, near Bernot. I had 
made arrangements to go next day to see this pit, and, while 
I was exploring it, I was very much surprised to find a pebble 
exactly corresponding to the one I had seen in my dream. 
Such stones are very uncommon in chalk.* 

(B) ^* A few years ago (also in a dream), I witnessed the 
discovery of a great number of Gallo-Eomau remains in a spot 
near the village of Sissy. This spot had just been chosen for 

^ Possibly this was a case of udcodscIous cerebration. Nevertheless . . . 

440 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 

the site of a new cemetery. In one of the first trenches dug, 
the laborers found a pot^ which they sent me. It waa a Gallo- 
Romaii pot, and it was soon discovered that the new cemetery 
was laid out over ancient Gallo-Roman graves. 

**Alphonse Rabelle, 
"DruggisL 
"Rn>emont.Aisne» Letter 223. 

XXIV. *^I have been warned twice, at different times, by 
dreams, of the impending death of persona whom I knew only 
hy sight, and whose decease, as it happened the day before or 
the same night as my dream, I heard of the next morning, 
with all its particulars, told almost in the very words I had 
heard in my dream. In both cases I had not known tliat the 
persons who died were ill, and both were people in whom I 
took no interest whatever. M, Lorilliaed. 

"Pm-mysl (Poland)." Lclter 248. 

XXV. '^ I was eighteen when my poor father died from a 
sudden attack of ilUiess. -Two weeks before his death I 
dreamed that I saw him in his chamber, lying on his bed, 
dressed, and dead, while around the bod wara fim pei^sons^ M 
intimate fi-iends of the family, who were watching him. These 
were the same five persons who watched his corpse the first 
night after his decease. This very strange coincidence long 
left mo under an impression of profound emotion. 



' Marseilles/ 



P, B. 



Letter 251. 



XXVL "Three days (just the time it takes for a letter to 
reach ns from St. Petersburg) before I heard of the death of 
the sister of the painter Vereschagin, I saw, in a dream, her 
husband, and, being surprised to see him alone, I asked, 
^ Where is Marie Vasilievna ?' He answered me distinctly, 
'She is at rest,^ which means eUe repose. J» Mottu. 

** Senle House, Ambleside^ Weatmorelaad." 
Letter 253. 

XXVII. "When my wife (a young girl then) was taking 
care of her mother, she took little rest either by night or day. 

441 



THE UNKNOWN 

One nighty the last^ dnringa brief and unrefresbing sleep, she 
saw her mother, in a dream, who said to her, 'You will lose 
me at eleven ': and the prediction was falfiUed at that very 
hour. My wife did not mention this dream to any one untS 
after the first days of mourning ; there is therefore no proof 
of it but her word, in which I believe blindly. 

'* If you think it desirable to print this fact for your readers, 
I should prefer (having told you who I am) that my name 

should not be given. X , 

" Lieutenant in the Navy. 

••Rochefort." 

Letter 261. 

XXVIII. (A) '' In 1858 (I am no longer young) I was at 
Terrasson (Dordogne), employed in building the railroad from 
Pferigueux to Brive. Another employ^ on the road, who came 
from the Hautes-Alpes, said to me one morning, with a very 
troubled air, that during the night he had seen a phantom 
in which he recognized his father. Two days later he re- 
ceived a letter with a black edge, which told him that his 
father had died the very night that he saw the apparition. 

(B) " In 1885 I was at Perigueux with my family. By 
wife saw> in a dream, in the night between January 15th and 
16th, a bed with closed curtains, and near it stood a table with 
a lighted taper and a crucifix. She told me of this dream, 
which alarmed her greatly. We soon after received a letter 
from Boder, telling us that my father-in-law had died of 
pneumonia shortly before. Ltjmique. 

*• 7 Rue Traversidre-des-Potiers, Toulouse." 
Letter 268. 

XXXI. "By sad experience, I know that every time I see 
in a dream a lady with whom I was once in friendly relations, 
and who has been dead five years, I shall hear of a death in 
my family. 

" But what is very singular is that about six weeks ago this 
lady (in a dream) came and walked with me beside the La- 
gonbran. When we reached the Boulevard de Strasbourg, at 
the entrance to Toulon, she left me, and went back towards 

442 



PREMOI^ITORY DREAMS 



Lagonbraa with some workmen whom I did not know. They 
all looked very melancholy, 

*' For several days I anxiously asked myself who I was 
probably going to lose when the terrible catastrophe at 
Lagoubran happened that every one knows about. She had 
come to tell me of the misfortune which was about to befall 
our whole city, 

''One of my friends^ on the night of March 3d and 4th, 
dreamed of the scenes that took place the next night, March 
5th and 6th ; she saw passing before her door long processions 
of artillerymen, carrying the dead and wounded, attended by 
soldiers and priests, and the real scene afterwards seemed a 
second edition of her dream, M. J. D. 

E"-ron\on." Letter 345. 

XXXIL *' It has often happened to me to find myself in 
some situation, as commonplace as possiblej of which I had 
had an exad perception some time before, 
"J. H. Chaepentier. 
I •'Frankfort^' 
Letter 35t 

XXXHL " In 1889, in the month of April, a young 
girl named Jeanne Dubo, who was a servant in my family, 
dropped dead suddenly in my presence before I could render 
her any assistance. It was a case of sudden death caused by 
the rupture of an aneurism. 

" The parents of this girl, poor farming people, who lived, 
and still live, in the Department of the Landes, having heard 
the sad news, arrived at my honae the next morning in tears. 
Otir first interview was as painful to me as to them, for I was 
greatly affected by tho death of this girl, to whom I was at* 
tached as much for her honesty and kindliness as for the 
zeal she showed in taking care of my household, 

" The night came, I sat up with the corpse, together with 
her mother and father ; when addressing old Dubo, I put to 
him iu patois the following question: ^Tell me, Dubo, have 
you ever had any presentiment about Jeanne's death ?' ^ What 
do you mean?' he said; 'I don^t understand.' 'Yes,' I con- 

443 



THE UNKNOWN 

tinned; 'some sort of sign ... I hardly know what . • . 
something that forewarned yon of some kind of misfortune?' 
^ No/ he replied^ shaking his head; 'nothing/ ' A dream, 
for instance ?' I persisted. ' A dream ? . • . All I yea — wait 
a bit/ he said^ like a person trying to call something to mind. 
' Yes — a dream/ he murmured. Then turning to his wife, 
who was lying dressed on a mattress, he said, ' Do you hear, 
Marceline ? Your dream . . • Hens r Sobs responded to 
this question. Then he told me that one night, about ten 
days before, his wife had dreamed that their daughter was 
dead, that while she dreamed this she was groaning and shed- 
ding tears, and that, notwithstanding all the efforts that he 
made to comfort her, she continued to feel sure that her 
daughter was dead. She had a terrible headache in conse- 
quence of her agitation, which lasted several days. 

^' This dream, which I had in some way guessed at, and 
which the woman Dubo fancied was reality, was destined to 
become so ten or twelve days later. Justin" Mako, 

" Tax Receiver, Belin, Gironde." 
Letter 871. 

XXXIV. '' In 1865 I was in England, as French teacher in 
a school. I was eighteen. The climate did not suit me ; I was 
ailing all the time, and all my thoughts were of returning to 
Prance. I had gone to England expecting to stay there two 
years, which would have given me time to learn English. I 
had been there since January, when, al the close of July, I 
dreamed that I must learn faster, because I had not much 
longer to stay ; but my dream gave me no reason why I should 
be obliged to return home. This dream preoccupied my 
thoughts, but I tried to get it out of my mind by repeating 
to myself the proverb, * Tout songe est mensonge.' 

** On August 13th my mother died, and I had indeed to 
return to France. L^onie Serkes, kee Fabbb. 

"Deaux, Canton of Vez§nabres (Gard)." 
Letter 406. 

XXXV. '*In a dream I saw and travelled in a part of 
the country that was quite unknown to me. I afterwards 

444 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 

verified my vision, which was exact and precise. If yoTi wish 
it I can send you the particulars* Abdok Gkau. 

*'AiQ-Beidai CouatantiDo.*' 

Letter 486. 

XXXVIi ^^Two years ago I had a situation as governess 
in America. We were living in the country in Maryland, 
when one night I saw in a dream a great monumental gate 
through which was the entrance to a vast forest, and a few 
steps from it was the game-keeper's cottage, I told my 
dream the next morning to Miss S., in whose house I was 
living, and added that no doubt it meant that I should soon 
go hack to Europe, 

"But how great was my sarpriao when last year^ having 
really gone back, as I foresaw, and having a situation at Cra- 
CQw, we left town for the country, in the mouth of June* A 
few days afterwards ray pupil, a girl of fourteen, said to me : 
'Come, madame, I must show you the beautiful forest of 
T- — -, which belongs to Count P/ We went, and at the en- 
trance to the forest great was my surprise to recognize the 
gate which had struck me so much in my dream a year be- 
fore. ' Marie,^ I said to my pupil, *I saw that gate a year 
ago when I was very far from here, and it was in a dream./ 
She was very much amused. 

*'l beg you will not print my name. L. R. 

- Moravia (AuBtria)." Letter 496. 

XXXVIL *'I think I had better tell you two very char- 
acteristic facts relative to presentiments experienced and 
dreamt by two persons whom I perfectly well know : 
* A **The first dreamed that her father was dead, and a 
month later he died under the same circutiutances that accom- 
panted the dream. 

B '*In the second dream a lady thonght that her baby 
had just died. It was one day before he really died, under 
the same circumstances related iii the drcum, 

*'G. VlAN, 

"Former Secretary of Ihe Flammarion ScieaLiflc Society. 

" Mar&cilles. " 

Letter 499. 

445 



THE UNKNOWN 

XXXIX. " One year, in February or March, I had in a 
dream a vision of a very dear friend dressed in deep monrn- 
ing for one of her relations. That night (still in a dream) I 
was present at all the bustle that takes place when people get 
home from a journey in the middle of the night. I saw her 
in my dream with her child in her arms, wandering about 
the railway station in the lamp-light, looking for a carriage 
or some vehicle that would take her home before the fu- 
neral. 

"Five months after I learned how absolutely true my 
dream had just become. This lady, to whom I was greatly 
attached, experienced in the circumstances of which I had 
dreamed all the care, anxiety, and suffering with which I 
had seen her overwhelmed at the railway station with her 
child in her arms. The member of her family whom she 
had lost had been very ill for some time, but his friends 
were far from expecting his speedy decease. 

"The realization of this dream, though not immediate, 
took place nevertheless in the month of December. , 

"Whence comes this prescience of the future that some- 
times comes to us in dreams? M. P. H., D. M. 

-Romans." Letter 609. 

XL. " I was a day scholar at the High-School, when in a 
dream I found myself crossing the Place de la B6publique in 
Paris, a napkin under my arm, when just opposite the maga- 
81718 du Pauvre- Jacques a dog ran past me pursued by a 
crowd of gamins who were tormenting it. I saw the exact 
number of them — eight. The sales-people in the store were 
making up their inventory; a fruit-seller (called a marchande 
des quatre saisons) passed by with her cart full of fruit and 
flowers. 

" The next morning, as I went to school, I saw exactly the 
same things in the same place. It was a repetition of the 
scene I had witnessed in my dream. Nothing was wanting 
— the dog ran down the gutter, the eight gamins ran after 
him, the marchande des quatre saisMis with her cart was 
turning on to the Boulevard Voltaire, and the sales-people at 

446 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 

le Fauvre-Jacques were putting their goods for display out- 
side the door of their establishment. Ed. Hakkais. 

** 10 Avenue Lagaclie, Villemomble (Seine)." 
Letter 627. 

XLI. About 1827 or 1828 my father found himself at 
Nancy. At that moment there was taking place there one 
of those lotteries (since prohibited) in which people were 
exhorted to choose the numbers that they wished for. My 
father was much tempted to take a chance, but he had not 
made up his mind to do so, when that night he saw in his 
sleep two numbers in phosphorescent characters on the wall 
of his chamber. Much struck by this, he resolved to go as 
soon as the window of the ticket-office should be opened in 
the morning, and ask for the numbers of which he had 
dreamed. But conscientious scruples restrained him. He 
could not, however, afterwards resist going to inquire the re- 
sult of the drawing. The numbers he had dreamed of had 
come out in the order they had appeared to him, and their 
holder had gained seventy-five thousand francs. 

*' Mademoiselle Meyer. 
"Niort (DeuxSevres)." 

Letter 549. 

XLII. " We were going to Paris, my wife and I, in May, 
1897, to pass a few days, and we stopped at Angers to see 
some of our relations. The morning of the day fixed for 
our departure for Paris I was in that state of delicious com- 
placency which one feels when one has a vague idea that life 
is reblossoming around one, and one is snug in a comfortable 
bed. I was not awake ; I was dozing. Suddenly I heard a 
fresh melodious voice singing a charming song which de- 
lighted me. The air seemed so pretty that I was sorry when 
I woke. I was delighted. 

^* In my imagination I attributed the song to some young 
apprentice who had stopped upon the Quai, just under my 
window. 

''We reached Paris the same day, and went to pass the 
evening at a cafe concert in the Champs-Elysefe, where, to 

447 



THE UNKNOWN 

my astonishment, when it was half over, I heard a performer 

sing the same air I had heard in my dream that morning. I 

affirm that it was absolutely the same. 

^* The evening before that the air had been completely nn* 

known to me, and I have never heard it since. 

"Emilb Soux. 
" 6 Rue Victor Hugo, Carcassonne.'* 

Letter 554 

XLIII. '*In 1871 I had a brother twenty years old. He 
was a doctor in the Military Hospital at Montpellier. My 
poor brother fell ill. They sent a despatch to my father, 
telling him his son had typhoid fever. Worn ont by a vari- 
ety of emotions and by the fatignes of the late war, he grew 
rapidly worse, notwithstanding the care lavished on him. 

*' On December 1st he said to my father, who never left 
his pillow, ' I see three coflans in this chamber.' Father said 
to him: 'You mistake, my dear boy; yon see cradles.' I 
shoald here say that I had a sister who had been married 
three years, and had a dear little son thirteen months old, in 
good health, and a baby born eight days before. 

**The next day my brother was worse, and died in my 
father's arms. 

"My father returned to Douai after the funeral, and he 
found my youngest nephew dying of croup. The other, who 
had been in the best of health, died also. So there were the 
three coflans seen by my poor brother. 

** These facts are exactly what occurred. 

**BbRTHB DUBBULLB. 
"4 Rue de TAbbaye des Prds. Douai." 
Letter 558. 

XLIV. (A) ** In 1889 I was road-master of an arrondisse- 
ment in the Department of Loz6re. Being on a tour of in- 
spection at Saint Urcize (Cantal), I had, about midnight, an 
impression that a voice said to me ' Your father is dead.* I 
went home two days after, much impressed. Bat no bad 
news awaited me. Nothing from my father, who lived in a 
distant part of the country. But two days after (I think) I 
received a despatch summoning me to him, as he was serious- 

448 



PBEMONITORY DREAMS 



ly ill with inflammation of the kings. I immediately etartocL 
but I did not arrive until six hours after he had died. If I 
had left as soon as I received the warning sent to me in my 
dream, I might have passed thirty-six hours with my father 
before he died. I need not tell you how deeply I regret mj 
delay. 

(B) ''I was twenty-one, I had to draw my chance to 
serve in the array. The night before the drawing I dreamed 
of the number 45, and I drew it in the morning. This 
seemed to me to indicate that what we think is chance is 
governed by other laws» On the other hand, between the 
moment when I had the dream and that in which I drew 
the number out of tlie urn there may have passed too many 
things to make me attribnto to chance alone the distribution 
of the numbers. How did it happen that these things did not 
alter what had seemed decided the night before ? 

*^ GUIBAL, 

'* Road-master in the Arrondlssement of Belisane, Algeria.'* 
Letter 573. 

XLVI. " In 1893 I had a daughter in Paris at the Dental 
School. She was twenty years old, and had no inclination for 
marriage. On Jannary 2, 1893, I had a very strange dream. 
I saw my daoghter coming home for the holidays at five 
o'clock in the moniiog (she never came by that train), I saw 
her enter my chamber wearing a large plaid cloak, which I 
had never seen. She came up to my bedj and said to me, 
* Mother^ I wish to be married. I love, I am loved, and if I 
do not marry him I shall die/ 

*' I made all kinds of remonstrances, telling her she had 
better wait until she had finished her studies and not inter- 
rupt her course. Ifc was no use. She insisted so earnestly 
that, in my dream, I acquiesced in her wishes. 

^^ When I woke up in the morning my dream returned to 
my memory. I told my maid of it, and a seamstress who 
was sewing for me, and I added : 

" ' Totd so7iffe est menso7ige. But no matter, I am not going 
to write to ray daughter, for fear I should put marriage into 
her head.' 



2p 



449 



THE UNKNOWN 

'* The same year, at the end of July, I received a letter 
from my daughter, telling me that she had passed her exam- 
inations for the second year with credit, and that she would 
be home that evening by the train she generally came by, 
which reached Saint Amand at night at 12.49. We expected 
her, but in vain. 

" At five o'clock in the morning we were awakened by a 
loud ring at the bell. My maid went to open the door, and 
my daughter came into my room wearing a plaid duster she 
had bought a few days before. She kissed me, and repeated 
to me, word for word, exactly what in my dream I had 
heard her say on the 2d of January ; and I answered, * Why, 
you told me all that before.' ' How could I have told you ? 
It is only a week since I came to adecision.' 

" At once I remembered my dream. My servant then told 
her about it. But my daughter was not so much astonished 
as I should have expected. She told me that I had once be- 
fore seen in a dream what was long after going to happen. 
And, in truth, I had seen Saint Amaud when I had never 
been there, as well as the apartments I now occupy, two 
years before I came to inhabit them. 

*' Madame Bovolik. 
•'Saiot Amand (Cher)." 

Letter 584 

XL VII. (A) *^A few years ago we had a little friend 
whose mother had entered her at the school at il^couen. I 
dreamed afterwards that I saw the child passing along the 
street. I was astonished to see her, for I knew she left home, 
and (still in my dream) her mother came and said to us, * I 
could not make up my mind to leave my daughter at school. 
I have teen to fetch her home,' A day, or two days, after my 
dream, we received a visit from this lady. I said to her: 
* Does Marguerite like school ?' She answered, ' Don't you 
know what I have just done ? I could not make up my 
mind to leave her there, and I have been to bring her home.' 

(B) "At Toul, where we lived, there was a beggar who 
made a very disagreeable impression on me. He was very re- 
pulsive, he was ugly, and of a bad character. One night I 

450 



PKEMONITORY DREAMS 

dreamed tbat some one was ringing at the front door* It was 
darkj but through the darkness I seemed to see the outline of 
thia beggar, who said, 'Mademoiselle, I have nowhere to pass 
the night ; will you let me lie down here V The next evening, 
while in a dreamy state, I was sitting in the dining-room with 
my sister aud my little eousin, when I heard a noise outside 
the kitchen door. I went to see what it was. The beggar 
was there, who said to me, *I am without shelter; will you let 
me lie here lor the night?' Mademoiselle IIubeht. 

"Nancy." Letter 607. 



XLIX. (A) "When I was about fourteen I dreamed that 
one evening I was near a wood, but before me was a wall, I 
was alooe> and I felt like cryiog, Some months later I really 
found myself in the same situation, and equally disposed to 
shed tears, 

(B) "In 1882, having been made a non-commissioned 
officer in the llOtli Regiment, at Havre, I dreamed that I had 
turned school-master. I lauglied at this, for it would have 
been the very last thing I should have cared to do. Two 
years later I was at Stains, teaching a class of the very same 
children I had seen in my dream. 

(C) *'In 1893 I knocked at my father's chamber door 
(Faux-la-Montagne, in the canton Gentioux, Creuse), having 
returned from Martinique after nine years* absence, lie did 
not recognize me, and asked me who I was and what I wanted, 
' I am a traveller,^ I said, * and I bring you news of your son 
in Normandy,' 'And tho one in Martinique?' 'I have no 
news of him. Why do you ask me ?* 'Because this very 
night I dreamed I saw him standing there ]ust in that door, 
where j/ou are sfanding now.' And he burst into tears. I 
ought to mention that he had spoken of this dream already 
when he woke up, and before he had seen me. They had had 
no intimation that I was likely to return. Leoeos, 

" School master at Gros Mome, Martinique,** 
Letter 008, 

LIL **Some days after our marriage my wife said to me, 
'It is extraordinary, but six months ago I dreamed that I 

4>1 



M 



THE UNKNOWN 

should marry yon. I even told my mother so the next morn- 
ings and we langhed about it/ My mother added^ ' Oh^ he 
is a young man who probably never had a thought of you.' 
Now observe that up to that time we not only had never 
spoken to each other, but we were not even acquainted. Al- 
though we lived in the same neighborhood we had seen each 
other only at a distance, as it were by chance, and we did not 
visit at the same houses. It is, therefore, most extraordinary 
that that young girl should have dreamed that before long 
she would be married to me. And yet the dream came true. 

* * Villeneuve-sur- Yonne.' 



Letter 619. 



^'T. 



LIII. " You have asked to be told inexplicable facts, facts 
which, however, are certain dreams, and other observations of 
the same kind. Perhaps you will not think what I am going to 
tell you is of any importance, or has any interest, but if every- 
body thought so, and would say nothing, your appeal would 
be useless. I am going, therefore, to write you what I know, 
only begging you not to give my name, if by chance you use 
my letter. I live in a little town where I had rather my name 
should not be read. 

(A) **In January, 1888, I was pregnant, but for certain 
special reasons I did not know how long I had been so. Find- 
ing I was one day greatly exhausted, my husband sent for the 
nurse, who said, *I think it will soon take place* (she was a 
very skilful woman). Next day I felt very well again. On 
February 1st it was the same thing, and my sister, who was a 
year younger than I was, and not married, told me in the 
morning (she did not know that I had suffered in the night, 
for she slept in a remote part of the house) what follows : 
* Last night I was not dreaming but I was awakened by some 
one who said to me, *' Your sister need not be uneasy about 
her pains. The child will be born on the 22d of June.'' And 
I said to the voice, " Since you know so much, tell me, will it 
be a girl or a boy ?" The voice replied : ** That I do not know. 
But this I know : you will all then be far from happy/' ' Now 
we already had had two boys and were most anxious for a 
daughter. 

452 



PKEMONITORY DREAMS 



" Of course, we mado fun of my sister, and, my pains con- 
tiauing to increase, I made my preparations. 

** But February and March passed^ and by degrees we were 
less inclined to laugh at her; her own faith was never shaken 
in what had been told her. Wo even came to the conclusion 
that the baby would be a boy, as we were not to be happy on 
its arrival, and we began to believe so firmly in the predic- 
tion that on June 21st I made ready the cradle and pre- 
pared everything for the next day. On June 22d, at ten 
o'clock in the morning, my baby was born. It waa a girl, 
which would have given us great satisfaction had I not im* 
mediately after her birth had a hemorrhage which nearly 
cost me my life. Two days later my eldest boy had bronchitis, 
and my sister, for the first time in her life, was taken ill. My 
second son had croup, and had to have an operation ; my sis- 
ter, who had risen too soon from her bed to see after him, had 
diphtheria; and my father, three months later, had a glight 
accident, in consequence of which he died. Assuredly we 
were not happy. 

'*' (B) My daughter was three weeks old. I could not 
nurse her, havin?^ an abscess on my breast. My husband had 
to go to Manosque to get a wet-nurse, who was recommended 
to us, and he brought her back the same day, Friday, July 
13th. Before I woke that morning I was tormented by a 
strange dream. My sons were doing well, the oldest was all 
right, and the second, a superb child, was in perfect health. 
I said to my husband, ' It is strange, but last night I dreamed 
I was in a town I did not know; I was looking for Renfi'a 
nurse and they told me '^As it is Saturday, she has gone to 
the washing.^^ I looked for her very anxiously, and meeting 
her alone I asked : ** What have yon done with Bene ?" Clo- 
tilde replied : ^' Madame, I left him behind this walh" I ran 
to find him; he was lying up against the wall, quite naked, 
his body was us black as soot, and he had a hole in his neck 
out of which protruded the trachea. He was not dead, how- 
ever.' 

'"'My husband laughed at my dream, and at the anxiety I 
felt because of it. About four in tlie afternoon Rene, who 

453 



THE UNKNOWN 

bad not gone out of the house^ but was playing with hispapa^ 
had a strange fit of coughing, and was nearly choked by it. 
I sent in haste for a doctor. It was a case of cronp. 

**At two in the morning, Saturday, July 14th, four doc- 
tors made ready to perform the operation of tracheotomy ; 
it was before the discovery of serum ; the child was laid naked 
on a table, his neck was pierced, and a silyer tube was in- 
serted in the trachea. The operation was almost completed 
when, the trachea being torn by the hook with which it was 
held, the child was choked with blood, and his body became 
quite black ; but happily a large dose of ipecac brought back 
the cough and relieved him. 

'' During the operation my husband leaned over me and 
said : ^ Valentine, this is the dream you had yesterday that I 
laughed at . . .' The child is a big boy now, and is perfectly 
well. Madame X. 

** Forcalquier." Letter 628. 

LV. " Monsieur A. lived in the village of 0., and very often 
had dreams which came true exactly. He was judge at the 
tribunal of C, where he went every fortnight. One morn- 
ing when he should have gone to C, he came down-stairs 
quite preoccupied, and told his wife 4ind daughter (Madame 
M., who told me this), -the following dream: I drove in a 
carriage into the town of C. where I saw before D.'s house 
two coJBins and a funeral procession being got into line. I 
knew almost all those who were present ; the prefect, the 
judges, the municipal authorities, and the relatives. I asked 
a by-stander, * Why, who is dead in the family of D. ?' 

*^*Don*t you know,' he said, Hhat Madame D. and her 
son died the same day, and they are to be buried this morn- 
ing?' 

** Monsieur A., having told us of his dream, left home say- 
ing that he was sure that he should hear of some death in the 
course of the day. Imagine his astonishment when driving 
» into C. he saw two coffins before the D. house, and just the 
same persons present that he had seeii in his dream. He hard- 
ly dared ask who were the persons who had died, he felt so 

454 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 



snre before-liand that he should bear the very word a he had 
heard in bis dream. He however stopped a man who was 
passing and put to him the question. 'Don^t yon know/ 
was the answer, ^ that Madame D. and her son died the same 
day^ and they are to be buried this morning T 

" What seems to me most interesting in the dream is that 
the words heard were exactly the same as those really heard 
the next day. There was, tbereforej premonitory vision and 
premonitory bearing, both at once. 

"You can be assured of ih^ perfect mUheiiiicUy of this nar- 
rative* The family of Monsieur A. was so much impressed 
by it that they have preserved an exact memory of all its 
particulars* H, B essoin, 

**Paator at Orvin-pr^s-Bienae, SwilzerlaDd," 
Letter 632. 

LVI. '*I dreamed that while riding a bicycle a dog ran 
right before me on the road, and that I fell off, breaking the 
pedal of the machine. In the morning I told my dream to 
my mother, who, knowing how often my dreams came true, 
begged me to stay in the house. In fact I resolved not to go out, 
but towards 11 o'clock, at the moment of sitting down at 
table, the postman brought us a letter informing us that my 
sister, who lived four miles from our house, had been taken 
ilL At once forgetting my dream, and thinking of nothing 
but of getting news of my sister, I breakfasted in all haste, 
and started on my bicycle. My rido was without accident 
until I reached the place where the night before I bad seen 
myself lying in the dost with a broken machine. Hardly had 
my dream crossed my mind, when an enormous dog sprang 
out of a farm-house near the road^ and tried to seize me by 
the leg* Without thinking, I kicked at him, and with that I 
lost my balance and fell off my machine, breaking the pedal, 
thus realizing my dream even to its smallest incidents. Now, 
please remember, that I had been over that road at least one 
hundred times, and never before had I the smallest accident, 

^'Amedee Basset, 
"Notary at VitraCi CUa rente." 
Letter 640, 
455 



THE UNKNOWN 

LVII. " Marshal Vaillant, who was neither a visionary nor 
a narrow-minded man, told one of my friends, who has several 
times told me, that when he set out for the siege of Borne, 
having been ordered to conduct the operations, and being 
totally ignorant what fortifications had been constructed for 
the defence of the place, he saw very distinctly in a dream, 
before he landed in Italy, the precise spot in which it would 
be best to begin the attack. It was, as he afterwards assured 
himself, the one weak spot in the defences. I send this fact 
without comment; no doubt you can make use of it in your 
category of auto-suggestions. 

"B. KlRSCH, 
** Exprofessor at Semur, C5te d'Or." 
Letter 643. 

LVIII. (A) " My mother, who was born in 1800, August 
15, and died in 1886, had a bad fever in 1811, when she was 
at boarding-school (I think) at Aire-sur-la-Lys. It was, how- 
ever, the only illness she ever had in her life. In a fit of 
delirum she saw herself at home with her mother, Madame 
Campagne, n6e Marie Louise De Lannoy do Linghem, at 
Estr6e Blanche (Pas de Calais), and while still under the in- 
fluence of fever she screamed and called out that they must 
take her away, for the house was on fire. 

**Now, a year later, in 1812, the house at Estr^e was really 
burned down, and my mother saw the real fire exactly as she 
had seen it in her fever in 1811. 

*'The central part of the house and one wing were laid in 
ashes, the other wing was saved, and it was there that my 
grandmother found temporary shelter with her numerous 
family (she had ten children). The part not burned con- 
tained twelve rooms with fire-places and attics. My mother 
^ never told a falsehood to my knowledge. She has told me all 
this very many times; not only she, but my uncles and aunts. 
The part of the building not burned is standing still. 

(B) *' About July, 1887, I think (the exact date could be 
learned from the mairie at Saint Omer ; I was then living at 
Tatinghem, a village two miles away), a person, Mademoisselle 
Estelle Poulain, who has been living in my family since 1873, 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 



^ 



saw 10 a dream her antit, Madame Lepretre, nee Ilanorine 
Hocliart, who spoko to hon Mademoisselle Poolaiii could 
not distiDgnish her features^ but she k^iew it was her aunt. 
She started up wide awake, and almost immediately the 
clock in her room struck three (in the morning). This was on 
a Saturday, the dD,j the market is held at Saint Omer* 

" About twelve or one o^clock Mademoiselle Poulain'*8 
uncle, M. NoGl Lcpr^tre, came to my house to tell us that 
his wife, Honorino Hochart, Mademoiselle Poulain's aunt, 
had died that morning a little before three o'cloek, and had 
said to the sister of charity, who T?as nni'sing her, ^ I am so 
sorry I cannot see my niece Estelle.* Kow, on my word of 
honor. Mademoiselle Estelle Poulain had told me her dream 
long befor& the arrival of her uncle. 

" Leon Leconte, 
**Edilor-iQ'Cbief of the £tudiant, Paris/' 
Letter 667. 



► 



I 



LX. "In 1882 I was suddenly separated from a person 
Tvho was very dear to me ; and while for some weeks I was 
plunged in deepest grief, I heard a voice saying to me, * This 
very day a year from now that person will come back to 
yon/ It was then May, and the next year at the same 
date I met the person in the street. We were both much af- 
fected at the sight of each other. Explanations, regrets, re- 
morse, and reconciliation followed, and since that time I 
have had no more devoted friend than this one, whose repen- 
tance was most siucere. 

While asleep I have had sight at a distance of cities to 
which I have afterwards gone, and have been astonished to 
see their buildings and monuments jflst as I had seen them 
in my dreams — Brussels, for instance, which I had seen in my 
sleep a year before I went there. 



' 457 Rue Piiradis, Jlarseilles.' 



^H. POKCEE, 



Letter 735, 



LXL (A) "My poor mother died in the night of Sej)- 
tember 17, 18G0, at three o'clock in the morning, having pre- 
served her memory^ and being conscious to the last of all that 

457 




THE UNKNOWN 

passed around her. A little before her death she looked 
round to find me, and when she saw I was not there, the 
anguish in her face was heart-rending, and big tears rolled 
down her cheeks. (This was told me later by persons jpres- 
ent at the moment when she died.) 

" Now, that same night, September 17, 1860, I woke up 
with a start at three o'clock in the morning, fancying I heard 
my mother calling me, and several times I sat up in my bed, 
crying, * Mamma ! Mamma V which awakened my bedfellow, 
and then I fell in a heap on the floor. People had to be 
roused to give me help and to recover me from my fainting 
fit, which lasted about twenty minutes. 

(B.) " It was 1869, at the time of the plebiscite, when, one 
night, I had a dream, or rather, I may say, a terrible night- 
mare. 

'^ In it I saw myself a soldier — we were at war. I felt all 
that a soldier has to endure in war time — ^fatigue, hunger, 
and thirst. I heard orders given, I heard volleys fired, I 
heard the roar of cannon ; I saw men fall dead and wounded 
round me, and I heard their cries. 

" All of a sudden I found myself in a village where we were 
to receive a terrible attack from the enemy. They were Prus- 
sians, Bavarians, and dragoons from Baden. Take notice 
that I had never before seen these uniforms, and that the 
country at that time had no thought of war. At one mo- 
ment I saw one of our oifficers climb into the church steeple 
with a field-glass to observe the movements of the enemy; 
then he came down, formed us in column to attack, sounded 
the charge, and rushed us forward at double quick, with fixed 
bayonets, on a Prussian battery. 

*^At this moment, in my dream, being engaged hand-to- 
hand with the artillerymen of this Prussian battery, I saw one 
of them strike a blow at my head, so formidable that he 
clove it in two. Then I was awakened by falling out of bed. 
I felt a terrible pain in my head. As I fell I had knocked it 
on a little stove which I used for a table. 

*^ On October 6, 1870, this dream came true — village, school, 
mairie, and church were where I had seen them. I saw our 

458 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 

major going up into the steeple to reconnoitre the position of 
the enemy ; I saw him come down, heard him order the 
charge to be sounded, and we rnshed with fixed bayonets on 
the Prussian cannon. In my dream at this moment I had had 
my head split by a stroke from the blade of a Prussian. In 
the real fight I expected this, but I only received a blow from 
a rammer, which possibly was intended for my head, but only 
hit me on my right thigh. A. Regnier, 

" Sergeant-Major in the Company of Francs Tireurs, at Neuilly-sur-Seine. 
*'73 Rue Jeanne Hachette, Havre." 

Letter 788. 

LXIII. ** In 1867 1 was at Bordeaux, at the head of a drug- 
store which I had opened a few months before. One night I 
saw, in a dream, the figures * 76 f r. 30 ' written on the day- 
book, whereas they ought to have been written on that of the 
next day. That day, in the morning, this sum was so im- 
pressed upon my mind that I spoke of it to my assistant. Our 
ordinary receipts being about 45 francs a day, we thought 
that 76 fr. 30 must mean the receipts for two days. The 
work that day was about what it was on other days, but in 
the evening we were overwhelmed with customers. At length, 
at half-past ten, after the last one left (that person must have 
been at least the hundredth), I looked in the cash-drawer and 
I found exactly 76 f r. 30. 

^' M. Jaubert, of Carcassonne, to whom I told this, made 
me observe that it would have needed a number of spirits to 
bring customers, who all bought and paid, and to hinder others, 
and there certainly must have been a book-keeper among the 
celestial operators. I remember one circumstance. A lady, 
whom I knew to be very unpunctual in paying, bought a 
great number of articles ; she seemed to obey some kind of 
inspiration. At last she paid for everything 1 She was the 
last customer; surely the spirit who was making up the ac- 
counts needed just her money. A. Gomeba. 

•* Toulouse." Letter 633. 

LXIV. ** I lost my father in 1865, and remained head of 
my family, with two younger brothers. The one next to me, 

459 



THE UNKNOWN 

Arij^tide^ bom in 1853^ belonged to the class of 1873^ and 
drew his number for military service in 1874. He had not 
been willing to provide himself with a sabstitate, and trusted 
to chance whether he wo aid have to serve six months or five 
years in the army. 

"This alternative greatly excited my poor mother, who 
spoke of it ever]^ time I came to see her at Nienil-sar-rAntise 
(Vendue) upon Sundays, for I was studying to be a notary at 
Niort, eleven miles away. 

" Thinking that I might do a father's part by assisting my 
brother when the drawing took place, on Tuesday, February 
10, 1874, 1 left Niort on Monday, and went to Nieuil. After 
dinner, at which the conversation had turned on the chances 
of the drawing, I went to bed at ten o^clock. 

" Preoccupation no doubt made me dream, and I distinctly 
saw my brother, Aristide, putting his hand in the urn and 
drawing out a number, when he showed me the figures, con- 
siderably enlarged, *67.* 

" I started up. I lit my candle, and, looking at the clock, I 
saw it was three in the morning. 

" When I got up at eight I told my dream to my mother, to 
my brother, to the garde -champUre, and to some conscripts 
of our commune, who laughed at it heartily. 

" But exactly at three o'clock in the afternoon of the same 
day, in the chief town of the District of Saint-Hilaire-des- 
Loges (Vendue), my brother drew from the urn the famous 
number — 67, and showed it to me with the same gesture with 
which he had shown it me when he drew it in my dream, 
twelve hours before ; and, what was very surprising, 66 was 
the last number drawn to make up the contingent which in- 
volved five years of active service, while my brother got off 
with six months in the artillery at Brest. 

"Alfred Cail. 

'* 154 Avenue de Wagram, Paris." 

Letter 788. 

LXV. (A) " One of my great-aunts, who is now dead, had 
frequent presentiments while she lived, which all came true. 
In the month of February, 1871, she had a dream telling her 

460 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 

of tliG approaching death of two of her sisters, both of whom 
were then eojojing perfect health. This dream she wrote 
out in a book where she was accustomed to note down any 
events in her life. It unfortunately soon camo true, and in a 
terrible manner. A month later, as may be seen in the news- 
papers of the period, yellow-fever broke ont in Buenos Ayres, 
and the two sisters were carried off by it. 

(B) *' Another time, in 18G8, my same aunt saw in a dream 
a domestic scene which jjroved to bo a prediction. The scene 
was in the apartment of one of lier friends, Madame B., who 
was sitting in an arm-chair near the fireplace; on the hearth 
burned a bright fire^ and she was caressing a baby whom she 
held in her arms, while a servant was drying his napkins at 
the fire. This was told to several people, who did not seem 
to pay much attention to it ; for Madame B., already the 
mother of a ntimerons family, was past forty^ and having had 
no children for seven years, it did not seem likely she would 
have any more. Ilowever, what seemed so improbable was 
realized a year later, and one evening when my great-aunt 
went to visit her after her confinement, to congratulate her 
on the birth of her youngest child, she saw precisely the 
scene she hnd witnessed in her dream. The room, the fur- 
niture, the bright fire^ the woman occupied in drying infant 
clothes — all the details of the dream, in short, w*cre repro- 
duced faithfully. The divination of an event in the future 
was perfectly realized. Emilio Becher. 

*'Rosario de Santa Fe, Argentine Republic/* 

Letter SOO, 



LXVIL " I was brought up io Paris, where my people had 
been long established as wine merchants, at 7 Rue Saint Am- 
broise. My father died in 1867. My mother and I quitted 
Paris in 187^. I had also an uncle, my father's brother, who 
died subsequently, and who was a grocer, 32 Rue Saint Roch. 

(A.) " In 1868, when I was seventeen years old, I was em- 
ployed by this uncle as his clerk. One day after I had 
wished him good-morning, and while he was still under the 
impression of a dream he had had during the night, he told 

461 



THE UNKNOWN 

me that in it he had dreamed that he was standing on his 
door-step, when, looking in the direction of the Eue Neuve- 
des-Petits Champs, he saw an omnibus turn into the street be- 
longing to the Gompagnie des Chemin de Fer dii Nord, 
which drew up before his shop door. His mother got out of 
it, and the omnibus went on, carrying away in it another 
traveller who had been sitting beside my grandmother. This 
was a lady dressed in black, with a large basket on her 
knees. 

*^We were both much amused by that dream, which we 
thought could have no connection with reality, for never 
would my grandmother have ventured to come by the North- 
ern Bailroad to the Bue St. Boch. She lived at Beauvais, 
and whenever she made up her mind to come to see any of 
her children, who lived in Paris, she wrote by preference to 
my uncle, who was the one of her children that she cared for 
most, and he went to meet her at the train, and always put 
her into a hackney coach. 

" Now on this day, in the afternoon, as my uncle stood on 
his doorstep, looking at the people who passed by, his eyes 
chanced to turn in the direction of the Bue Neuve des Petits 
Champs, when he saw an omnibus belonging to the Northern 
Bailroad turn into the street and stop before his door. 

" In this omnibus there were two ladies, one of whom, my 
grandmother, got out, and the omnibus went on carrying the 
other lady just as he had seen her in his dream, dressed in 
black, and with a basket on her lap. 

*' Imagine how astonished we all were ! My grandmother 
had planned to take us by surprise, and my uncle told her 
his dream. 

" My other fact is a case of palmistry. 

(B) " During the siege of Paris I was enrolled among the 
mobiles of the tenth batallion of the Seine. One day, when 
I was dining with my mother, there was also at table one of 
my cousins, a medical student, who now owns property in the 
neighborhood of Dieppe. One of my friends, who, like me, 
was a clerk in a grocery store and a sergeant in our company of 
mobiles, was there also, likewise a friend of mine who was a 

462 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 



draughtsman, and who now lives at 1 Boulevard Beanmar- 
chais. And lastly, there was a man who bought wines from 
my father (I tolfj you he was a wine-merchant). This gentle- 
man, who was a man of means, and remarkably intelligent, 
had been made sergeant-major in the 192d battalion, I do 
not remember his name ; we will call liitn Monsieur X. 

"At the close of the dinner, and while we were speaking of 
the Germans, who surrounded us^ Mousienr X. began to exam- 
ine the lines in our hands, telling ns that he had made a study 
of chiromauoy, and offering to tell ns if anything of impor- 
tance would befall ns in the course of the present events. 
Naturally, we all asked him if we should be wounded ? He 
said no— not three of ua^ M. Lucas, the student, M. Frangois, 
the draughtsman, and myself would not bo hurt Aa for the 
fourth one, the sergeant of mobiles, M. Lallier, Monsieur X, 
told him, after having minutely examined the palm of his 
hand: *This is strange. You will be serioasly hnrtj and 
that soon, but it will not he by a weapon- You will be burnt,' 
'How will that be ?' asked Lallier. * I cannot tell you ; 
accidentally, no douht,* replied Monsieur X., and we went on 
to speak of other things, 

" This took place at the close of 1870. 
I ''In the course of the year 1871 1 weut to Bordeaux, whence 
I returned in November ; and as I passed by Tours I stopped 
to see my friend Lallier^ who had found employment there 
after the close of the war* When I saw him I was struck at 
once by the great change in him, without being able to im* 
agine what had altered him so moch until he said to me/ Do 
yon remember the predictions of Monsieur X. ? What he told 
me was, unhappily, too true. Two months ago a lad in the 
store most imprudently carried a lighted can tile into a room 
where there were two hogsheads of petroleum ; through his 
carelesanesa one of these took fire; I tried to move the other 
to prevent greater danger. The petroleum caught fire the 
moment I touched the hogshead. I had all my left side 
burned, and it is only two weeks since I came back to work 
again.' 

** Was this a mere coincidence, or did the man who had 

463 



THE UNKNOWN 

studied chiromancy really see the future accident in Lallier's 
hand? 

** I mention these two facts because I kno\^ them to be abso- 
lutely true. Both took place in my presence, and I had it in 
my power to discredit or confirm them. I have often men- 
tioned them to my people and my friends, without being able 
to get any explanation that satisfied me, except for a part of 
my uncle's dream, though I have tried ever since I read your 
interesting articles on the subject. 

"I suppose my grandmother, while lying awake, may have 
taken a sudden notion to leave for Paris that very day, resolv- 
ing to tell nobody, and on her arrival at the station to take a 
carriage, as she had often seen other people do, and so enjoy 
the surprise her arrival would be to her son. No doubt it was 
at the very moment that she made this plan that my uncle had 
his dream. Paul Leroux. 

" Neubourg, Eure." Letter 825. 

LXIX. ^' In 1879 my uncle, Jacques Theodore Hoffman, 
was a schoolmaster at Heerenveen (Holland). My father 
went to see him at the beginning of July, when his sister-in- 
law, my aunt Marguerite, told him before his departure that 
she had seen in a dream my uncle Jacques's wife and two chil- 
dren dressed in deep mourning; therefore she feared some- 
thing might happen, and if they went out in a boat he must 
be very careful, etc. 

" My father and his brother Jacques, on July 7th, took a 
long sail ; no accident happened, and they made fun of Aunt 
Marguerite's dream. 

"Two days later, on the 9th of July, they took my father to 
the railway station. Part of the family were there. My 
uncle Jacques, crossing the tracks, did not notice a train 
which was coming into the station. He was knocked down 
and killed, his head rolling some distance from his body. 

**My two aunts and the two children are still living, and 
can certify to the realization of this dream. 

N. C. A. Hoffman, 
" Medical Student at the University of Amsterdam. 

"25 Rue de France." Letter 850. 

464 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 



After reading and comparing this collection of facts^ it 
seems to us impossible that any one can doubt that fotnre 
things are sometimes seen in dreams* 

Several of these dreama may perhaps be explained natur- 
ally. For instance, a person might as readily dream of one 
nomber to be drawn as another, and as these cases, of the 
kind related here, are rare, fortuitous coiilcidence may per- 
haps explain them. It would he necessary to know how 
many nnmhcrs were in the urn to know if the chance nota- 
bly surpassed that which would be given by a calculation of 
probabilities* But the greater part of the premonitions we 
have here bronght to light cannot ho explained. 

Some are dreams in sleep, some are waking dreama, which 
seem to have taken place when persons were in their normal 
state of health, or very nearly so, and not in exceptional 
pa thp logical cases. These examples arc likewise very nu- 
merous. We will point out a few of them. 

Dr. Lie ban It quotes the following case in his Thirapm- 
tique svf^f^estive : 

LXX. ^* In a family in the neighborhood of Nancy a yonng 
girl named Julie^ eighteen years old, was often put into a 
magnetic sleep. When once in a state of somnambolism she 
was transported ont of herself, as if she had received inspi- 
ration, and she insisted on repeating at every smnce that a 
certain member of the family, whom she named, would die 
before the 1st of January. It was then November, 1883. 
Such persistence on the part of the sleeper led tho head 
of the family, who thought ho might do a good stroke of 
bnsiness, to secure a policy of insurance on the life of the 
lady in question for ten thousand francs. She was in no way 
10, and he readily obtained a doctor's certificate. To raise 
this sum he applied to Monsieur L, He wrote him several 
letters, explaining why he wanted to borrow money. These 
letters Monsieur L. preserved, and show-ed them to me. He 
regards them as irrefragible proofs of the future event an- 
I nounccd as sure to happen. 
^H "At last they settled the question of interest, and the af- 
^H fair remained in abeyance. But some time after great was 



^ 



THE UNKNOWN 

the deception of the borrower. Madame X., whom he ex- 
pected to die before January Ist, suddenly died on December 
31st, which is proved by a letter dated January 2d, and writ- 
ten to Monsieur L., which he keeps among the others relat- 
ing to the same person/* 

The same writer gives the following case, also quoted ex- 
actly from his daily note-book. Wo all know M. Liebault to 
be a most scrupulous and methodical observer. 

LXXL "January 7, 1886. — There came to consult me to- 
day, at four o'clock in the afternoon M. S. de Ch , for a 

nervous condition of much gravity. M. de Ch is much 

troubled in his mind about a law-suit that is now going on, 
and other things involved in it. In 1879, on the 26th of 
December, as he was walking along one of the streets in 
Paris ; he saw written on a door, * Madame Lenormand, fe- 
male necromancer.' Urged by curiosity, he, without reflec- 
tion, entered the house, and, when there, was conducted into 
a darkened chamber. There he awaited Madame Lenor- 
mand, who having been told at once of his arrival, soon came 
in. Looking carefully at the palm of one of his hands, she 
said to him : * You will lose your father in a year on this 
very anniversary. Very soon you will be a soldier (he was then 
nineteen), but you will not remain long. You will marry 
young ; you will have two children ; and you will die when 
you are twenty-six years old.' 

" This stupefying prophecy, which M. de Ch confided 

to several of his friends, and to some of his own family, he 
did not at first think much of ; but when his father died 
on the 27th of December in the following year, after a short 
illness, and just a year after his son's interview with Madame 
Lenormand, the loss made a change in his incredulity. When 
he became a soldier — only for seven months— and when, hav- 
ing married shortly after, two children were born to him, 
when he was about twenty-six, he became overcome by fear, 
and thought he had only a short time to live. It was then that 
he came to see me to ask if it would not be possible to break 
the spell. For otherwise, as the first four prophecies had 
been accomplished, he thought the fifth would surely be ful- 

466 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 

filled. That day, and for several days, I tried to put M. de 
Ch — — into a deep magnetic sleep, in order that he should 
throw off the idea that was weighing on his spirits — that, 
namely, of his approaching death, which he calculated would 
take place on the 4tli of February, which was his birthday. 
Madame Lenormand had told him nothing upon this point. 
I could not in any way put the young man to sleep — he was 
too agitated. Nevertheless, as he urged me to deliver him 
from the conviction that he must soon succumb (a most 
dangerous conviction, for one has often seen convictions of 
this kind accomplish an auto-suggestion to the letter), I 
changed my treatment, and I recommended him to consult 
one of my somnambulists, an old man nearly seventy years of 
age, who was called the prophet, because, when I had put 
him into a magnetic sleep, he had, without an error, proph- 
esied the exact time of his cure from rheumatism in his 
joints, which he had suffered from for four years ; also the 

cure of his daughter. M. de Ch accepted my proposal 

with eagerness, and did not fail to come .at the right time 
to the interview which I arranged for him. Having entered 
into rapport with the somnambulist, his first question was, 

* When shall I die V The experienced sleeper suspected the 
state of the young man*8 mind, and answered, after a pause, 

* You will die . . . you will die . . . forty -one years from 
now r The effect of these words was marvellous. Imme- 
diately my patient became gay, talkative, and full of hope. 
When the 4th of February was past, the day he had dreaded, 
he thought himself saved. 

^^ It was then that some of those who had heard of this sad 
history, agreed in concluding that there was nothing what- 
ever true about it ; that it was merely a post-hypnotic sug- 
gestion, and that the young man had imagined everything. 
They were all wrong. Fate had decided on his destiny. He 
was to die. 

**I had forgotten all about him when, at the beginning of 
October, I received an announcement of his death {un$ lettre 
de faire part), by which I learned that my unfortunate pa- 
tient had died on September 30, 1885, in his twenty-seventh 

467 



THE UNKNOWN 

year — ^tbat is to say^ while he was still twenty-six^ as Madame 
Lenormand had predicted. And that no one may suppose 
that there is any error on my part, I have preserved this let- 
ter among my papers. So there are two written testimonies 
to the fact." 

Here is another case of the same kind, not less curious, 
told to M. A. Erny, by Madame Lecomte de Lisle, sister-in- 
law of the poet, and cousin of one of his friends : 

LXXII. "A certain Monsieur X. took a fancy to consult a 
woman who told fortunes by cards. . She predicted that he 
would die by the sting of a snake. Monsieur X. was employed 
by government. He had always refused a position in Marti- 
nique, because it was an island much infested by serpents of 
a dangerous kind. 

"At last Monsieur B., Director of the Interior atGuadeloupe, 
persuaded him to accept a good situation in the administra- 
tion of the colony under his charge, which, although near 
Martinique, had never been known to have any serpents. 

*^ No man escapgs Ms destiny! says the proverb, which this 
time, among others, proved true. 

" Having finished his work in Martinique, Monsieur X. set 
sail for France ; and the boat having stopped, as it always did, 
at Martinique, he declined to go ashore. 

" As usual, negro women came on board the boat to sell 
fruit. Monsieur X., being thirsty, took an orange out of the 
basket of one of these negresses, when he uttered a sharp cry 
and said he was stung. The woman turned up her basket, 
and there was a snake, which had hidden itself, not among 
the fruit, but under the green leaves that covered it. They 
killed the serpent, but poor Monsieur X. died a few hours 
afterwards." 

The extraordinary case of clairvoyance and prevision that 
comes next, was published in the same collection (1896, p. 
205).' 

LXXIII. "A lady, one of my friends. Lady A., lived on 
the Champs-£lys6es. One evening in October, 1883, I had 

* Annales des sciences pgycliiques. 
468 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 

dined with her. Notwithstanding her large fortnne she was 
a woman of business. Being very active, she gave but few 
hours to sleep. Every evening when her guests had departed 
she settled her accounts. 

'^ On this particular evening what was her astonishment, her 
terror, to find that the sum of 3500 or 3600 francs was miss- 
ing from the inner pocket of the immense travelliug-bag in 
which she was in the habit of keeping her jewels and her 
money. 

" The lock, however, had not been forced ; the edges of the 
bag only had been a little frayed. Nevertheless Lady A. was 
certain that about two o^clock in the afternoon she had 
opened the bag and paid a bill in the presence of her maid, 
and she was sure that she had then put the money back in its 
usual place. In her distress she rang for her maid, who could 
give her no information, but who had had time to let all the 
household know that a robbery had been committed. As a 
result of this, the thief, or thieves, if they were amoug the 
domestics, had had time to put their plunder in a place of 
safety. 

''At daylight the next day the commissary of police at 
the Rue Berryer was notified. Masters and servants were 
searched, the wardrobes, the closets, and the furniture. 

''Naturally they found nothing. 

"The commissary having completed his fruitless search, 
talked for a moment with Lady A. He asked her what were 
her own impressions as to the manner in which the robbery 
had been accomplished, and which among the servants were 
least worthy of confidence. 

"Lady A., in enumerating her servants, begged the com- 
missary to exclude from suspicion her second footman, a 
young man of eighteen or nineteen, very good looking, very 
respectful, very well acquainted with his business, whom 
they had nicknamed Le Petit, not on account of his stature, 
for he was rather tall, but from a sentiment of familiar kind- 
liness which his good qualities had obtained for him. 

" The morning had nearly all passed in these formalities, 
entirely without result, when, about eleven o'clock. Lady A. 

469 



THE UNKNOWN 

sent her youngest daughter's governess to my house to inform 
me of what had happened and to beg me to accompany her 
to the house of a clairvoyant, whose powers I had spoken 
highly of a few days before. 

."I did not myself know this clairvoyant, but a lady in my 
family had told me of one of her consultations, where she had 
distinguished herself in her predictions of the future. We 
went there. 

" Seeing us together she wished to separate us. We made 
her understand that as we came for the same purpose we 
wished only one consultation. 

"She may or may not have taken us for the same family. 
She asked us simply, whether the affair in regard to which we 
came was specially near to the person of one or other of us. 
I designated Mademoiselle C; for, as she lived in Lady A.'s 
apartment she had really been the person nearest to the scene 
of the robbery. 

"Madame E., our clairvoyant, then brought a bowl filled 
with clear coffee, without sugar or cream, and begged Made- 
moiselle 0. to breathe over it three times, after which the 
coffee was poured into another bowl, and the first was fitted 
over the second so that its contents passed partly into the 
new receiver, leaving only on its inner surface some of the 
coffee-grounds, which, in consequence of the escape of the 
liquid, formed strange patterns which had no meaning for 
us, but in which the pythoness seemed to find something. 

" During this mysterious preparation it was necessary to 
entertain us, so that Madame E. shuffled her cards, and 
began : 

" Ah . . . but ... it is a robbery, and a robbery commit- 
ted by one of the persons in the house, and not by some one 
surreptitiously introduced from outside, etc., etc. 

" This promised well. We admitted that what she stated 
was true. As to the thief, his identity was unfortunately 
omitted. 

"*Wait,* said Madame E., *I am now going to observe 
the coffee-grounds, which must have formed their deposit.' 

" She seized the overturned bowl, and made Mademoiselle 

^0 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 

C. breathe upon it again three times^ after which she took 
up her eye-glass. 

''Then, as if she had taken part in the scene, she de- 
scribed to us, bit by bit, the topography of Lady A/s apart- 
ment, without ever being mistaken either as to the bed- 
room or the salon. She saw pass in defile before her seven 
servants, whose sexes and characteristics she exactly de- 
scribed. Then penetrating again into Lady A/s chamber, 
she perceived a wardrobe which seemed .to her very pe- 
culiar. 

'' ' She has,' she repeated, with astonishment, ' a cupboard, 
the centre of the door of which is covered with a mirror ; 
and on each side of this principal part of the wardrobe there 
are two doors without glass ; and all this contains ..." 

*' 'Oh, mon Dieu ! . . . why is this wardrobe never closed ? 
although it always contains money, which is . . . in . . . 
in . . . What a strange object! ... It opens like a porte- 
nionnaie in the shape of a bag . . .; not like a box. . . . Ah, 
I have it ! it is a travelling-bag. . . . What an idea, to put 
money in there ! and, above all, how imprudent to leave the 
wardrobe open ! . . . 

" ' The thieves know the bag well. . . . They have not 
forced the lock. They have introduced some object into it 
in order to separate the two sides ; then, with the help of 
scissors or pincers, they have extracted the money, which 
was in bank-notes. . . .' 

"We had let her go on speaking. All that this woman 
had told us confounded us by the truth of its details, even 
the most trivial. 

'' She stopped from fatigue. We wished to know more. 
We begged her, we implored her, to tell us which of the 
servants had committed this theft, since she had already 
assured us that it was one of the household. 

" She added that it was impossible for her to do this with- 
out bringing herself within reach of the French law, which 
cannot, and indeed ought not, allow any one to be con- 

> It was an English wardrobe, such as she had no doubt never seen. 

471 



THE UNKNOWN 

sidered a criminal^ without proofs^ and never by the aid of 
occnlt means. 

" By force of insistence, however, she assured us that 
Lady A/s money would never be recovered. This was very 
probable, since the thief could not be arrested for the rob- 
bery, and then, what was more surprising, she said that 
' two years later the criminal would suffer capital punish- 
ment/ 

" Whenever her glance, wandering over the patterns made 
by the coffee, fell on what seemed to coticern Le Petit, she 
said she had seen him among horses. We assured her that 
he had never acted as groom, having been occupied exclusive- 
ly with house service, and the grooms lived with the coach- 
men ; but Madame E. persisted in what she said. The more 
we contradicted her, the more she was convinced. 

" We ended by yielding this little point, which neverthe- 
less annoyed us, as a blemish in an otherwise perfect whole, 
for this consultation had been surprising in its accuracy. 

'^ Lady A., at the end of a fortnight, dismissed her house 
steward and her maid. Le Petit, for some reason unknown 
to us, left Lady A. three or four weeks later. The money 
was never recovered ; and a year later Lady A. set out for 
Egypt. 

'' Two years after the event described. Lady A. received a 
summons from the Tribunal of the Seine, to appear in Paris 
as a witness. 

" The person who committed the robbery in her house had 
been found. He had just been taken into custody. Le Petit, 
gifted with so many excellent qualities, was no other than 
Marchandon, the murderer of Madame Cornet. 

*' As is well known, he suffered capital punishment, as the 
clairvoyant in la Eue Notre-Dame-de-Loratte had told us, 
and during the trial it was shown that Le Petit had a brother 
who was coachman in a large house in the Champs-!filys6es, 
very near Lady A.'s residence. 

" Le Petit, or Marchandon, since they are one and the 
same, made use of all his free moments when in Lady A.'s 
service, to go to his brother's, for he was a great lover of 

473 



PREMONITOKY DREAMS 

horses. This, therefore, waa the reason that Madame E. had 
iDsisted^ in spite of oar contradictions, that she had seen him 
repeatedly aniong horses. 

*' She had indeed really seen in this little detail what the 
incidents of the trial revealed to us, 

" L, d'Ervieux, 
" Certified to be the truth* 

**C, Deslions, 
'* Present at the coESultation/' 

"Hem ark: This case of clairvoyance is absolutely ex- 
traordinary. We have seen Lady A,^ who confirmed the ac- 
curacy of the preceding recital. 

'* The cards and the coffee-grounds were evidently only a 
means employed by the clairvoyant to put lierself in auto- 
somnanibnlism — that is to say, in a secondary state, where nor- 
mal consciousness became inactive to the advantage of un« 
consciocisness. In this secondary state the niiconscioas 
faculties can assume their full powers, and it is possible to 
believe that the faculty of clairvoyance which we all, per- 
haps, possess in a more or less rudimentary degree, can act 
more freely in a predisposed subject, and acquire a certain 
degree of precision. Dakieux*'* 

M. Myers quotes, in the -same publication (1899, p. 170), 
the following case of the repetition of a premonitory dream : 

''Sixty years ago a Mrs, Carleton died in the county of 
Leitrim. She was the intimate friend of my mother, and a 
few days after her death she appeared to her in a dream 
and told her that she would never, but once more, see her in 
a dream, which would be twenty -four hours before her own 
death. In March, 1SG4, mj mother lived with my brother- 
in-law, and my daughter, and Dr. and Mrs. Lyon, at Dalkey. 
On the evening of the 2d of March^ Dr. Lyon hearing a noise 
in my mother's chamber, woke up Mrs. Lyon, and sent her 
to see what had happened. She found my mother half out 
of bed, with an expression of horror on her features. They 
gave her the best attention, and the next morning she seemed 
restored to her ordinary condition. She breakfasted, as 

473 



THE UNKNOWN 

nsaal^ in bed^ and seemed to be in good spirits. She asked 
my daughter to tell the servant to bring the water for a 
bath, which she took. She then sent for Mrs. Lyon, and 
told her that Mrs. Garleton had just come, after an interval 
of fifty-six years, to warn her of her approaching death, and 
that she shoald die the next morning at the same hour at 
which they had found her in the state they had described. 
She added that she had taken the precaution to take a bath 
in order to avoid the necessity for washing her body. She 
then began to sink by slow degrees, and died at four o'clock 
in the morning, as she had said. 

'^Dr. and Mrs. Lyon can confirm this account. My 
mother had always told me that she would see Mrs. Garleton 
again just before her death. Thomas James Nobbis. 

"Dalkey, Ireland." 

Attestations follow. 

M. Myers writes in this connection : 

"There are,'* he says, "three possible explanations of these 
facts. 

" I am myself very much disposed to admit that the de- 
deased Mrs. Carleton really knew of the illness which threat- 
ened her friend, and that the two dreams were produced tel- 
epathically by a disembodied spirit influencing a spirit still 
in the flesh. But it is also possible to suppose that the flrst 
dream, although purely accidental, produced such a pro- 
found impression that, when it reproduced itself, also by chance, 
it was equivalent to an auto-suggestion of death. Or again, 
we may suppose that the first dream was accidental, but that 
the second was symbolic, and was produced by some or- 
ganic sensation, which was the prelude to immediate death, 
but was perceptible during sleep, before being so in the wak- 
ing state. 

"There are cases, however, when the predictions in a dream 
are made so long in advance, and with so much latitude, as 
regards the date fixed for decease that it is difficult to con- 
ceive that the result is due to auto-suggestion.'' 

We will not begin here the discussion ot the great problem 

474 



PREMONITORY DREAMS 

of communication with the dead, which would require, on 
its own account, developments indispensable to its elucida- 
tion, if, indeed, we could achieve that end. Several of the 
examples already quoted have called attention to this point. 
A considerable number of these are in our possession, but 
the analysis of them would require labor even more careful 
than that which has presided over the preceding investiga- 
tions, in which we have not gone outside the limits of liv- 
ing beings. What we have intended to establish here, by 
the publication of these premonitary dreams, is that dreams 
have really foreseen and announced the future. 

For the moment we will go no further. The human 
being is endowed with faculties whose nature is still un- 
known to us, but which permit him to see from a distance 
into space and time. This is what we have wished to demon- 
strate by a mass of satisfactory evidence. 

Space is lacking in this volume to treat of the question of 
presentiments, as well as that of the divination of the future 
in the waking state, and we are forced to postpone these in- 
teresting investigations until later. , This fact, also, has been 
answered for us in the affirmative. The curious impression 
of the already seen (le dejd vu) will afterwards be examined. 
Then we shall reach the eternal problem of free will and of 
destiny ; we shall prove that the future state exists as surely 
as the past and the present, and that it is determined by the 
causes which induce it, in virtue of the absolute principle 
that there are no effects without causes, the human soul with 
all its faculties being one of these causes. 

Everything cannot be accomplished at once, and I should 
rather offer an apology for the enormous size of this first vol- 
ume, and for the prolonged strain to which I have subjected 
my readers of both sexes. But what was before all important 
to accomplish, was that the phenomena should receive a me- 
thodical classification, that they should be studied in order, 
each section being complete, and that nothing should be ac- 
cepted except what appeared to our reason to be demonstrated 
as morally certain. 

The telepathic manifestations of the dying, the transmis- 

475 



THE UNKNOWN 

sioii of thought, the psychic action of one human being upon 
another at a distance without the medium of the senses, sight 
at a distance, and the prevision of the future in dreams and 
somnambulism, are for us certain facts. It has seemed to 
us logical to commence by these our investigation of the in- 
visible world. 



CONCLUSION 



Ths docnments presented to the reader in this yolnme de- 
mand the attention of all lovers of truth. They are far from 
embracing the whole range of psychic phenomena, bat they 
will lead ns to certain preliminary conclusions. 

The object of these researches is to discover if the sonl of 
man exists as an entity, independent of his body, and if it 
will survive the destruction of the same. 

Well ! here are facts brought forward to plead in favor of its 
existence. 

It is certain that one soul can influence another soul at a 
distance, and without the aid of the senses. 

Many dead persons whose examples are herein given have 
been told by telepathic communications, by apparitions (sub- 
jective or objective), called by voices they distinctly heard, 
by songs, noises, and movements (real or imaginary), and im- 
pressions of different kinds. We can have no doubt upon 
this point. The soul can act at a distance. 

Mental suggestion seems equally certain. 

Psychic communication between persons who are living is 
also proved by a large number of cases that have been ob- 
served and here reported. There are psychic currents as 
well as aerial electric and magnetic currents, etc. 

The abundance of recent and contemporary testimony has 
prevented our quoting ancient narratives, which are also very 
numerous, many of which have all the marks of unquestion- 
able authenticity. Perhaps we may give them some day with 
all their interesting details. Let us now only refer to the 
principal ones. 

Telepathy held a foremost place in ancient literature. The 

477 



THE UNKNOWN 

works of Homer, Euripides, Ovid, Virgil, and Cicero, often 
bring forward cases of manifestations from the dying and the 
dedd, apparitions, evocations, and the fulfilment of premon- 
itory dreams. 

One of the most ancient records of this kind is that in the 
Bible, in the Book of Samuel. King Saul consulted the 
pythoness of Endor, and beheld before him the phantom of 
the Prophet Samuel. If this account is an unreal tale 
(which is not demonstrated), it at least indicates what pop- 
ular belief was in those remote periods. 

We read in Plutarch the tragic story of the death of Julius 
CflBsar, and the premonitory dream of his wife, Calpurnia, 
who did all she could to prevent him from going to the Sen- 
ate House. It seems, in reading this account, as if we coi^ld 
hear the voice of Destiny, and there were also singular pre- 
monitory warnings when the windows in Caesar's chamber 
were unclosed, analogous to the accounts we have just 
given. 

Brutus»and Cassius were assuredly men of a virile spirit, 
sceptical, and belonging to the sect of the Epicureans. Bead 
also in Plutarch what he says about the appearance of a phan- 
tom to Brutus in his tent, which promised to meet him again 
on the plain of Philippi, where he was to find his death. 

If Julius Cffisar had been less sceptical on the subject of 
dreams, he would, perhaps, have listened to the entreaties of 
his wife. Augustus was better inspired at the battle of 
Philippi. The dream of one of his friends induced him, 
though he was ill, to leave his tent. His camp was taken, 
and the bed on which he had lain was pierced by swords. 
(Suetonius, Augustus XCI.) 

Cicero telk in his book on Divination, how the ghost of 
Tiberius Gracchus appeared to his brother ; also the dream of 
Simonides, in which a shade Rewarded him for having buried 
its corpse; there is also the story of the voyager in the 
Megara, which I have related in Uranie (p. 193). 

Valerius Maximus also relates (vii., § ii., 8) the premonitory 
dream of Aterius Bufus, present at a combat of gladiators 
when he was killed by a r^tiaire, whom he had seen in a 

478 



CONCLUSION 

dream the night before, at the very moment when he was re- 
lating this dream to his friends. 

Read also in the same writer of the premonitory dream of 
Croesus, in which he saw his son Athys killed by a murderous 
brand, when he had endeavored to guard him from a^ dan- 
gers, and had confided him to the care of a man who killed 
him in a wild boar hunt (vii., § ii., 4). 

Pliny the Younger relates in his letters (book vii.) the 
story of a haunted house at Athens, and of a spectre who re- 
claimed his burial place. 

/ Vbpiscus mentions a prediction made by a Druid priestess 
to Diocletian, in reference to his future destiny. * 

Gregory of Tours affirms that on the day of the death of 
St. Martin of Tours (in the year 400) St. Ambrose, Bishop 
of Milan, saw and conversed with the dying man while in a 
state of unconsciousness. We know that the same thing hap- 
pened in the last century with Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, 
at the death of Pope Clement XIV. {Stellay p. 75). These 
examples are not very rare in the lives of saints. 

Petrarch, in 1348, saw his beloved Laura appear to him in 
a dream the day that she drew her last breath, and in remem- 
brance of this event wrote a beautiful poem ('* The Triumph 

of Death'')- 

Pope Pius II. (Eneas Sylvius) relates in his History of Bo- 
hemia, how Charles, son of John, King of Bohemia, who was 
afterwards the Emperor Charles IV., was told in a dream of 
the death of the Dauphin (August, 26th, 1336). [I owe my 
knowledge of this story to M. Mourrel de Monestier, who also 
made me acquainted with the apparition of a dying person 
doscri«bed by Nicolas Charrier, Advocate in the Parliament of 
Grenoble in the seventeenth century.] 

Jeanne d'Arc predicted her own death. 

It had been predicted to Catherine de Medici that her 
three sons should be kings. 

Agrippa d'Aubign6 mentions the apparition of the Cardinal 
de Lorraine, on the day and at the hour of his death, to 
Catherine de Medici. 

Jean Stoeffler, an astrologer (1472-1530), announced the 

479 



THE UNKNOWN 

date of his own deaths and how he should die (by the fall of 
something on his head). 

Pran9ois de Belleforest, author of Histoires prodigieuses 
(1578), relates that his father appeared to him in a garden at 
the very moment he died, thoagh he did not even know that 
he was ill. 

Montluc tells us, in his Commentaires^ of a curious dream 
which showed him, in the night before the event, the death 
of King Henri II., who was pierced by a lance, in a tourna- 
ment, by Montgomery (June 30, 1559). This fact has been 
recently recalled to my mind by Madame VUleneuve de N6rac. 
' Marguerite d^AngouWme, in her convent at Tusson (Cha- 
rente), heard herself called by her brother, Francis I., at the 
moment when he was dying at Bambouillet. 

Sully quotes, in his Memoirs (vii., 383), the following pre- 
sentiments from the mouth of Henri IV. : " They told me 
that I should be killed on the first magnificent public appear- 
ance I made, and that I should die in a coach; and that is 
what makes me so timid. If we could only avoid having this 
cursed coronation V* 

David Fabricius, a German astronomer, to whom we owe 
the discovery of the famous variable star, Mira Ceti, pre- 
dicted that he should die May 7, 1617. He took every pre- 
caution to avert his fate, and all day would not leave his 
chamber. At last, at ten o'clock at night, he went out for a 
little air, and a peasant killed him with a pitchfork. 

The Abb6 de St. Pierre (1658-1743) tells us that the Abbe 
Bezuel saw his comrade, Desfontaines, dead and drowned 
the night before, and talked with him for some time. 

Charles Nodier relates {Jean Francois des Bas-BUus) that 
on October 16, 1793, the young man known by that name at 
Besan9on told of the execution of Marie Antoinette, to the 
great stupefaction of his hearers. 

(I do not mention the prediction of Cazotte, because there 
is reason to think it may be a story arranged by Laharpe). 

Gratien de Semur tells, in his critical treatise on Des Er- 
reurs et des prBjuges, that a friend of his family, Madame 
Saulce, wife of a rich colonist at Saint Domingo, cried one 

480 



CONCLUSION 

day at a card-party, *'M. de Saulce is dead !'^ and foil back- 
ward. That very day her husband was murdered by his negroes. 

We have briefly recapitulated the principal stories of this 
kind told by the ancients, to show that such things do not 
date from to-day. We venture to hope that when they come 
to be studied scientifically they may pass out of the shadowy 
domain of legend and superstition. 

Space fails us to analyze in detail every one of the exam- 
ples we have given in this volume, and to establish, even 
from this moment, that there are very many causes for these 
phenomena. We wished first of all to prove that there 
really are manifestations from the dying, psychic action 
from a distance, mental communications, and a knowledge of 
things by the mind without the intervention of the senses. 

We may see without eyes and hear without ears, not by un- 
natural excitement of our sense of vision or of hearing, for 
these accounts prove the contrary, but by some interior sense, 
psychic and mental. 

The soul, by its interior vision, may see not only what is 
passing at a great distance, but it may also know in advance 
what is to happen in the future. The future exists potentially, 
determined by causes which bring to pass successive events. 

Positive observation^ proves the existen^ce of a 
PSYCHIC WORLD, as real as the world known to our physical 
senses. 

And now, because the soul acts at a distance by some power 
that belongs to it, are we authorized to conclude that it ex- 
ists as something real, and that it is not the result of functions 
of the brain ? 

Does light really exist ? 

Does heat exist ? 

Does sound exist ? 

No. ' 

They are only manifestations produced by movement. 

What we call light, is a sensation produced upon our optic 
nerve by the vibrations of ether comprised between 400 and 
756 trillions per second, undulations that are themselves very 
obscure. 

2h 481 



THE UNKNOWN 

What we call heat is a sensation produced by vibrations be- 
tween 350 and 600 trillions. 

The sun lights np space^ as much at midnight as at mid- 
day. Its temperature is nearly 270 degrees below zero. 

What we call sound is a sensation produced upon our audi- 
tory nerve by silent vibrations of the air, themselves com- 
prised between 32,000 and 36,000 a second. 

Does electricity exist, or is it also another mode of move- 
ment? Science must discover this in the future. (It is 
probable that it exists as a real entity.) 

The word attraction was employed by Newton only to repre- 
sent the manner in which celestial bodies move in space. 
" Things pass," he said, " as if these bodies attract each 
other.'' What the essence, the nature, of this apparent force 
may be we do not know. 

Very many scientific terms represent only results, not causes. 

The soul may be in the same case. 

The observations given in this work, the sensations, the im- 
pressions, the visions, things heard, etc., may indicate ^Aysi- 
cal effects produced without the hram. 

Yes, no doubt, but it does not seem so. 

Let us examine one instance. 

Turn back to page 156. 

A young woman, adored by her husband, died at Moscow. 
Her father-in-law at Pulkowo, near St. Petersburg, saw her that 
same hour by his side. She walked with him along the street; 
then she disappeared. Surprised, startled, and terrified, he 
telegraphed to his son, and learned both the sickness and the 
death of his daughter-in-law. 

We are absolutely obliged to admit that " something'' ema- 
nated from the dying woman and touched her father-in-law. 
This "thing unknown" may have been. an ethereal move- 
ment, as in the case of light, and may have been enly an ef- 
fect, a product, a result ; but this effect must have had a 
cause, and this cause evidently proceeded from the woman 
who was dying. Can the constitution of the brain explain this 
projection ? I do not think that any atiatomist or physiolo- 
gist will give this question an aflElrmative answer. One feels 

482 



CONCLUSIO] 



that there is a force unknown, proceeding, not from our physi- 
cal organization^ but from that in us which can iliink. 

Take another example (see page 57). 

A lady in her ovv^n house hears a voice singing. It is the 
voice of a friend now in a convent, and she faints becanse she 
is sure it is the voice of the dead ! At the same moment that 
friend does really die, twenty miles away from her. 

Does not this give us the impression that one soul holds 
communication with another? 

Here is another example (page 163). 

The wife of a captain who has gone out to the Indian mu- 
tiny sees one night her husband standing before her, with bis 
hands pressed to his breast, and a look of suffering on his face. 
The agitation that she feels convinces her that he is either 
killed OF badly woonded. It was November 14th. The War 
Office subsequently publishes his death as having taken place 
on November 15th. She endeavors to have the true date as- 
certained. The War Office was wroug. He died on the 14th. 

A child six years old stops in the middle of his play and 
cries out, frightened : ** Mamma ! I have seen Mamma!" At 
that moment iiis mother was dying far away from him (page 
134). 

A young girl at a ball stops short in the middle of a dance, 
and cries, bursting into tears: *^ My father is dead ! I have 
just seen him !*' At that moment her father died. She did 
not €\ven know he was ill (p. 113), 

All these things present themselves to us as indicating, 
not physiological operations of one brain acting on another, 
but psychic actions of spirit upon spirit. We feel that they 
indicate to ns some power unknown. 

No doubt it is difficult to apportion what belongs to the 
spirit, the soul, and what belongs to the brain. We can 
only let onrselves be guided in our jodgment and our appre- 
ciations by the same feeling that is created in us by the dis- 
cussion of pheoomena. This is how all sciences have been 
started* Well! and does not every one feel that we have here 
to do with manifestations from beings capable of thought, 
and not only with material physiological facts ? 

48a 



THE UNKNOWN 

This impression is superabundantly confirmed by investiga- 
tion concerning the unknown faculties of the soul, when 
active in dreams and somnambulism. 

A brother learns the death of his young sister by a terrible 
nightmare (p. 372). 

A gentleman dreams he saw a young girl whom he does 
not know falling out of a window (p. 384). 

A young girl sees beforehand, in a dream, the man whom 
she will marry (p. 427). 

A mother sees her child lying in a road covered with blood 
(p. 391). 

A lady goes, in a dream, to visit her husband on a distant 
steamer, and her husband really receives this visit, which is 
seen by a third person (p. 404). 

A magnetized lady sees and describes the interior of the 
body of her dying mother ; what she said is confirmed by the 
autopsy (p. 412). 

A gentleman sees, in a dream, a lady whom he knows arriv- 
ing at night in a railroad station, her journey having been 
undertaken suddenly (p. 425). 

A magistrate sees three years in advance the commission 
of a crime, down to its smallest details (p. 429). 

Several persons report that they have seen towns and land- 
scapes before they ever visited them, and have seen them- 
selves in situations in which they found themselves long 
after (pp. 436-445). 

A mother hears her daughter announce her intended mar- 
riage six months before it has been thought of (p. 449). 

Frequent cases of death are foretold with precision. 

A theft is seen by a somnambulist, and the execution of 
the criminal is foretold (p. 468). 

A young girl sees her fianc6, or an intimate friend dying 
(these are frequent cases), etc. 

All these show unknown faculties in the soul. Such at 
least is my own impression. It seems to me that we cannot 
reasonably attribute the prevision of the future and mental 
sight to a nervous action of the brain. 

I think we must either deny these facts or admit that 

484 



CONCLUSION 

they must have had an intellectual and spiritual cause of the 
psychic order, and I recommend sceptics who, not choosing 
to be convinced, to deny them outright, to treat them as 
illusions and cases of a fortuitous coincidence of circum- 
stances. They will find this easier. Uncompromising de- 
niers of facts, rebels against evidence, may be all the more 
positive, and may declare that the writers of these extraordin- 
ary narratives are persons fond of a joke, who have written 
them to hoax me, and that there have been persons in all 
ages who have done the same thing to mystify thinkers who 
have taken up such questions. 

These phenomena prove, I think, that the soul exists, and 
that it is endowed with faculties at present unknown. That 
is the logical way of commencing our study, which in the 
end may lead us to the problem of the after-life and immor- 
tality. A thought can be transmitted to the mind of an- 
other. There are menial transmissions, communications of 
thoughts, and psychic currents between human souls. Space 
appears to be no obstacle in these cases, and time sometimes 
seems to be annihilated. 

While compjiratively rare, and not couimon place, like the 
ordinary events of daily life, these cases, are much more 
numerous and more frequent than people, up to this time, 
have supposed. We have seen that the inquiry I opened in 
the month of March, 1899, brought me 1130 answers. If we 
add those I have received since this volume went to press, 
there will be more than 1200. My readers will have been 
able to judge and appreciate in this first volume 186 cases of 
manifestations from the dying, received by persons awake ; 70 
cases received during sleep ; 57 observations or experiences of 
transmission of thought without any intervention of sight, 
hearing, or touch ; 49 examples of sight at a distance, in 
dreams or in somnambulism ; 74 premonitory dreams and 
predictions of the future; in all 436 phenomena of the 
psychic order, indicating the existence of forces as yet un- 
known, acting on thinking beings, and putting them in 
latent communication with each other. (I have already 
probably as many more of the same kind. ) Making all pos- 

486 



THE UNKNOWN 

sible allowance for variations and lapses in memory^ and for 
the imagination of the narrators^ it is impossible not to feel 
the sincerity of these witnesses, and not to recognize at the 
bottom their essential veracity in what they have reported. 
Besides this, some of the observations and some of the ex- 
periences have been related with such care as not to leave any 
loophole for mistake, that they have in themselves a char- 
acter of scientific authenticity the most absolute and well- 
confirmed. Assuredly here are witnesses who have a right to 
complain of the scepticism of those who, having made up 
their minds beforehand, simply deny everything; these facts 
should reduce such people to a last extremity. And now 
that public attention has been called to this class of facts, 
many more may be recorded that have hitherto passed un- 
noticed, or have been considered of no value. In astronomy, 
as soon as new stars are discovered, all the world can see 
them. 

These investigations have made a much larger volume than 
I intended to write. But more confined space would have 
obliged me to make many condensations, restrictions, and 
suppressions, so that our knowledge of the subject would 
have been much less, when naturally a larger development of 
it was required. To have been too incomplete would have 
enabled me to prove nothing. I prepared to treat fully and 
methodically the subjects we had to study, instead of touch- 
ing superficially on a much greater number. In matters of 
this kind we need an accumulation of convincing truths, tes- 
timony that is incontestibly true, abundant, and well sup- 
ported. What was most important in the first place was to 
prove that the existence of psychic forces can transmit 
thoughts and impressions to human beings at a distance, 
without the intervention of the senses. I hope that this 
demonstration is now made for every sincere, enlightened 
mind capable of free thought. 

The course of these researches may lead us to examine the 
phenomena of spiritualism and mediumism, those of som- 
nambulism, magnetism, and hypnotism: the knowledge of 
remote facts and of the future seen in dreams, presentiments ; 

486 



CONCLUSION 

the " doubles '^ of some living persons ; apparitions and man- 
ifestations from the dead; haunted houses; movements of 
objects without these being touched ; sorcery, magic, etc., 
etc. From this time forth, setting aside superstitions, errors, 
hoaxes, and base deceptions, we must acknowledge that 
there remain psychic facts worthy of the attention of those 
who would examine them. We have entered into an in- 
vestigation of a world as ancient as the human race, but at 
present very new to experimental science, which has not 
until recently occupied men^s minds, but has now created 
simultaneously an interest for itself in all countries. 

Such is my programme of study, and I should like to carry 
it out to the end, if the time indispensable to the work 
should be allowed me. But on the one hand it is prudent 
not to give one^s self up exclnsively to occult subjects, for one 
might soon lose the independence of mind necessary to form 
an impartial judgment. It is better to look upon such 
studies as not one's main object in life, but as recreation of a 
superior order, most curious and interesting. These are 
foods and drinks which it is most wholesome to take only in 
small quantities. On the other hand, our earth turns very 
fast, and days pass away like dreams. I hope, nevertheless, 
to give myself the scientific pleasure of studying a por- 
tion of these mysteries, and perhaps what one man can- 
not do may be done by others. Every one may bring his 
little stone to assist in the construction of a future pyr- 
amid. 

Every author is in charge of souls. We ought only to tell 
what we know.. Perhaps we ought not always to tell all we 
do know ; but even in our every-day life we ought never to 
tell what we do not know. 

Then let us lay up knowledge, let us work and hope. This ' 
collection of psychic facts shows us that we live in the midst 
of an invincible world, in which forces are at work of which 
we know very little, and this agrees with what we know 
about the limitation of our earthly senses, and the phenom- 
ena of nature. It is precisely because of this state of things 
that I have given to this work its title, The Unknown. 

487 



THE UNKNOWN 

Let us repeat with Shakespeare the words that we have 
chosen as the motto fbr one of these chapters ; 

"There are more things Id heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." 

And let us also say with Lamartine^ when speaking of astro- 
nomical philosophy : 

** La vie est un degr6 de Techelle des mondes 
Que nous devons franchir pour arriver ailleurs." 



THE END 



\ed on 




STANFORD UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES 

STANFORD AUXILIARY LIBRARY 

STANFORD, CALIFORNIA 94305-6004 

(650) 723-9201 

salcErc@sulmaiLstonford.edu 

All books ore subject fo recolL 

en DATE DUE 

en 



i